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Christine Lee, Irving/Grand Prairie Reporter
Lone Star Park expects big crowds Saturday for its simulcast of the 139th Kentucky Derby.
Lone Star Park is bracing for a busy Kentucky Derby Day.
"It's the only place in the Metroplex where you can make a legal wager on the Kentucky Derby," said Drew Shubeck, Lone Star Park president and general manager.
The venue has gone through numerous changes for this racing season.
"We've spent over $11 million on the entire complex of the last 20 months, getting ready for days like this," Shubeck said.
About 18,000 people are expected to attend, and the city of Grand Prairie's tourist information center has been feeling the buzz.
"We've already had tons of people this morning coming in, buying their racing forms, mapping out their game plan for who's going to win the races," said tourist information officer Bradley Kent. "[There is] nothing like seeing the live horses racing -- the power of them, dirt flying up like 20 feet in the air, you know. It's crazy, so it's a really good time."
Shubeck said no horse or jockey from Texas made the cut for the Kentucky Derby this year, but plenty of local talent will be on the racetrack in Grand Prairie this weekend.
Grandstand gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. General admission is $5 before 5 p.m. and $20 after 5 p.m. General parking is free.
The simulcast of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs starts at 5:24 p.m.