The race is taking place in Louisville but its also a big day here in the Tri-State. The Kentucky Derby is as important to Ellis park as their live racing on opening day. Even though the Derby is Saturday - thousands of people were placing bets here in the Tri-State on Friday. Race fans at Ellis Park are studying hard, placing bets, and watching races. "We got a fantastic crowd," says Director of Operations Bob Jackson. But the track here is quiet. All this excitement is for the Kentucky Derby. "Outside of our live race meet its our biggest one day of the year." On this day last year they had more than two thousand people come to bet. Theyve already exceeded that and are getting more money too. "Our handle on Churchills program is up 24 percent compared to last year." Fridays big race is for the Kentucky Oaks - the finest philly horses running at Churchill but fans can already place early bets on Saturdays Derby horses. Madeline Roe and her family came all the way from Kokomo, Indiana to bet early and watch the race at Ellis Saturday. "I dont expect anything. I just let it happen." Roe could be in luck. Bob Jackson, whos worked at Ellis for 26 years, says Saturdays field looks pretty even. "Theres 20 starting tomorrow theres any one of 8 or 10 horses so its pretty evenly matched.