The latest the 144th kentucky derby wettest on record – national news – 13 wthr indianapolis e85 gas stations florida

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The National Weather Service declared it the wettest Derby on record, and the rain is still coming down. The weather service tweeted that the official rainfall measurement stood at 2.83 inches at 6:10 p.m., about a half-hour before the big race.

Rain was still pouring, and the weather service expects it to taper off slowly through the evening. A flash flood warning was issued for areas within a few blocks of Churchill Downs. Puddles of ankle-deep were scattered around Churchill Downs, and the downpours sent Derby goers cowering for cover all day long.

The unbeaten colt, which remained the 3-1 betting pick less than an hour before the 144th Derby despite the rain throughout the day and the track downgraded to sloppy, was the runaway choice on social media with 14,700 mentions, according to Talkwalker. The analytics firm measured data across social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and found that users’ opinions differed from the oddsmakers.

Justify had 3,400 more mentions than Bolt d’Oro (9-1), followed by Magnum Moon (11,000) and Mendelssohn (10,100), the site found. Those secondary choices differ from the early line, which listed Mendelssohn (5-1) second and Magnum Moon (6-1) third with My Boy Jack and Audible each at 8-1.

The rain has continued unabated, pouring harder as the day wore on. Swaths of the grandstand’s uncovered seats that sell for hundreds each are empty, as Derby goers have opted instead to cram under awnings and overhangs to try to stay out of the rain.

Otis Miller joined the stream of those who had enough and decided to leave. He and his friend, William Smith, were visiting from Cincinnati for their first Derby in the infield, where there is little shelter. Both were sopping wet by the time they threw in the towel.

Nelson and her friend, Mary Rolfe, traveled from Minnesota to their first Derby, and said the rain is such a bummer they said they would have left if they hadn’t spent $80 on their infield tickets. The daylong downpour has created ankle-deep puddles in the infield, where there is little shelter. Soggy spectators crowded under trees and awnings. Chairs sank into the mud.

Erica Hetfeld, from Oregon, made her own that featured a beer bottle suspended in the air, pouring a stream of yellow flowers into a pint glass. It was designed in homage to a Bud Light commercial, the idea for which was conceived, she said, "after drinking too many Bud Lights while watching the Super Bowl." She estimated it weighs 10 pounds.

Several years ago, Joe Conforto was pictured in an online blog that deemed his hat among the 10 worst at the races. The writer described Conforto’s headwear as resembling a dead beaver. Conforto decided, he said, "it’s time to step it up" and he’s been working in the years since to redeem himself.

"I love to see them first, see what they’re dealing with, see the energy of the horses right before they get in there, and then I’ll know," said Kitsch, who has starred in HBO’s "True Detective" and the films "Battleship" and "Lone Survivor."

Former Dallas Cowboys star Jason Witten turned ESPN football analyst on Monday Night Football made his way to Churchill Downs just days after announcing his retirement from football. Witten says he’s "still on the high right now of going through so many emotions."

Women traded heels for galoshes and wore ponchos over their dresses. Some in the infield constructed elaborate tents out of tarps to try to stay dry and avoid the forming mud puddles. The weather for some was a disappointing twist after forecasters had for a week been promising perfect weather on Derby Day. It had been sunny and warm leading up to Saturday with temps in the 80s.

Amanda Phillips and Sarah Hoffman bought their mother infield tickets for Christmas, and the trio traveled from Orlando. They’d had their outfits meticulously planned for their first Derby, but eyed the sky Saturday morning, scrapped their dresses and made a last minute run to the store for ponchos and rain boots.