The crowds here don't "look like America." This is a whiter, older, more Anglo and more Southern scene. This makes it a magnet for politicians, not so much for the old reason, publicity, as for the proximity of money.
The Derby is like politics in so many ways. Someone runs. Someone wins. People contribute money and get their hopes up. There is a weird sense that somehow all of your problems will be solved and the world will right itself if only you find the right contender.
Each year, I write a column on Derby Day, and if you have followed my advice, you have lost a lot of money. The large fields at the Kentucky Derby throw logic out the window. Still, the betting system I tour is a good one.