April 29, 2010. Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival’s oldest event – the 55th annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade – marched down Broadway this evening under beautiful weather conditions. The parade, which is one of the Festival’s most cherished and popular events, attracted a crowd estimated at 235,000 to downtown streets. Actress Diane Lane and Secretariat owner Penny Chenery served as Grand Marshals of the parade. Retired jockey Ron Turcotte, who rode Secretariat to horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973, was also be honored in the parade. Lane, an Academy Award-nominated actress, portrays Penny Chenery in the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ film, “Secretariat,” scheduled to be released in October. Turcotte rode Secretariat to victory in the 1973 Kentucky Derby in a still-standing track record time of 1:59 2/5.
Diane Lane has been a major motion picture actress since 1979, when she appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in the film, “A Little Romance.” She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in the 2002 movie, “Unfaithful,” for which she received the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress. Chenery, 88, was the breeder and owner of the legendary Secretariat, as well as 1972 Kentucky Derby winner Riva Ridge. From 1976 to 1984, she served as president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Turcotte, a member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, rode Secretariat to victories in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as guiding Riva Ridge to victories in the 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
Supporters of Norton Healthcare were cheering down the parade route as their float took home the Addison McGhee Sweepstakes Award for best overall float. Kosair Charities/Kosair Shriners won the Grand Marshal’s Award; Second Chance@Life won the KDF Board Chair’s Award; CenterStage at the Jewish Community won the KDF Parade Chair’s Award; Purnell’s “Old Folks” Sausage won the KDF President’s Award; and Hwang’s Martial Arts won the Queen’s Award.
The parade is known for its beautiful equestrian units. Grand Champion Equestrian Unit went to Young Guns 4-H Equestrian Drill Team, with Mid-America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team finishing as first runner-up, Express Clydesdales finishing as second runner-up and Buckeye Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team as third runner-up. Jasper (Ind.) High School won the Grand Prize in the Basil Caummisar Battle of the Bands competition. Derby City Rollers won the Ray Wimberg Specialty Unit Award, E.ON U.S. won the Earl Ruby Inflatable Spirit Award and the Ohio Valley Friesian Horse Association won the Reliever Retriever Award.
It is not surprising that the parade is consistently voted as one of Louisville's favorite events. The parade is a true community asset and generates an economic impact annually of $14 million. More than 90% of the route is free public viewing thanks to the sponsorship of Republic Bank.The parade was lead by their “Absolutely Pegasus” balloon.