2022 Kentucky Derby celebrities include Jack Harlow

The Kentucky Derby was back at full capacity for the first time since 2019 and one celebrity shone brightest on the red carpet: a 24-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper from Louisville.

Jack Harlow received the loudest shouts from fans who lined the red carpet at Churchill Downs. The rapper was on the track to do the “Riders Up!” call, the flag for jockeys to mount their horses before the big race.

He told the crowd that his horse for the Run for Roses was Happy Jack, a nod to the name shared between the two.

“I feel like I have no choice,” said Harlow, who has had two No. 1 hit songs.

Harlow, who has a song called “Churchill Downs,” reportedly filmed a clip throughout the day. He was spotted with rapper Drake, who features in the song, at Churchill Downs. Some lucky fans got to film as Harlow walked the red carpet.

Country music singers Chase Rice, Jason Aldean, actress Jennifer Robertson of Schitt’s Creek and chef Bobby Flay were some of the highlights as fans took photos and videos. Miss USA and University of Kentucky graduate Elle Smith also made an appearance on the red carpet.

Governor Andy Beshear, walking the red carpet with his family, said his pick for the Derby winner was Epicenter.

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Rapper Jack Harlow walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. The Louisville rapper is set to perform the “Riders Up!” call, the flag for jockeys to mount their horses before the big race. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Actor Dean Norris, best known for playing DEA agent Hank Schrader on the AMC series “Breaking Bad,” walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Actress Jennifer Robertson, known for her starring role as Jocelyn Schitt in the Emmy Award-winning sitcom, ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Miss USA Elle Smith walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Smith graduated from the UK in 2020. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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‘Chopped’ judge Tiffani Fashion walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The cooking reality show has been on TV since 2009. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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The Derby Princess Court crowds the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Conrad Bucchman walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and his family walk the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema gab[email protected]

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A T-Rex walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Zandon’s owning family walk the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Taylor Dayne walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Former NFL quarterback Eric Wood and Leslie Wood walk the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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University of Kentucky quarterback Will Levis walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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David Costabile walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Eden Bridgeman walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Bobbi Brown walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Pictionary’s Rob Angel and Susan Booth walk the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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Singer Star Jones walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

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“Bachelor” star Bob Guiney walks the red carpet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Gabi Broekema [email protected]

This story was originally published May 7, 2022 5:54 p.m.

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Monica Kast covers higher education for the Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. Previously, she covered higher education in Tennessee for the Knoxville News Sentinel. She is from Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University.
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