The Derby Like You've Never Seen It


In 2016 The Players’ Tribune sent contributing photographer Chip Litherland to the 142nd Kentucky Derby armed with three Nikon F Series cameras and a stash of expired film. Some rain had fallen earlier in the afternoon, but it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of 167,227 well-dressed railbirds, the second-largest crowd in the history of the race. By the time 2–1 favorite Nyquist rolled through the homestretch to victory, with hard-charging Exaggerator only 1¼ lengths behind, the sun was out and the track was fast . The pictures below — with their faded color, light leaks and grainy finish — are a timeless view of the most timeless of all American sporting traditions.