LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Litter and other discarded items lined the stands and infield at
Churchill Downs Sunday, left behind by the more than 150,000 people who
braved the rain Saturday to watch the 139th running of the Kentucky
"It's pretty bad," said David
Arroyo, a Churchill Downs employee for more than 40 years who was
overseeing Sunday's cleanup effort.
estimated the amount of garbage would be in line with, or a slightly
less than, years past at about 40 tons. Spectators faced tighter
restrictions on items they were allowed to bring in Saturday, which
meant slightly less trash, he said.
More than 200 students from area schools started working on the cleanup at about 8 a.m.
High School junior John Masterson was slowly scooting a large barrel
loaded with more than 100 pounds of garbage with a fellow member of the
school's baseball team. He's been part of the post-Derby cleanup crew
for four years. Even with all the muck and sometimes unmentionable
garbage, he said he still tries to "make it as fun as I can."
This was probably the easiest of his four years, John said. Even with the rain and mud, there was less garbage.
The infield had been turned into a muddy slop, and John said getting it cleaned up was a daunting task.
"But with teamwork we can get it done," he said.
cleanup is a fundraising opportunity for school groups and sports
teams, said Bullitt East High School head football coach Darrell
Vincent, who has worked the Sunday after Derby for 19 years.
"It's a good team-building activity too," he said.
Given all the years he's participated, Vincent said there's not much he hasn't seen.
"You can find just about anything you can imagine (during the cleanup)," he said.
Vincent first started in the mid-1990s, "people could bring pretty much
anything in," he said. "So you'd spend hours picking up card tables,
folding chairs, all that kind of stuff."