HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) – Sixty-thousand plus are expected at Oaklawn for Arkansas Derby Day.
Horses worth millions, celebrity jockeys and trainers, and millionaires hoping for a ticket to the Kentucky Derby will be in attendance.
Whether bigshot or longshot, they all look up to one man, the most important person at the track.
He is Terry Lee Walker, the official starter of every race.
Nothing happens until he opens the gate. His hand is on the button that once pressed cuts off an electric current that keeps the gates closed.
This racing festival of the south actually means nothing to him.
"Every race is uh, like, they're all really the same. You have to treat em all the same," said Terry Lee Walker.
A horse is naturally claustrophobic. For it to get into the gate, takes a lot of training early in the morning, and Terry is there.
None of the trophies handed out, or money passed around would be possible without Terry Lee Walker, the man at Oaklawn always looking to start something.