News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, May 4, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- The streets of downtown Aiken were rainy, lonely and wet on Saturday afternoon, but inside the West Side Bowery, it was a whole 'nother story. The folks inside the Bowery were there to watch the Kentucky Derby and most were pulling for one horse: Palace Malice from Aiken.
Cecil Atchley loves horse racing. Atchley has called races before on the radio and says to have a horse in the Kentucky Derby is special.
"The derby is the spotlight for thoroughbred racing, and we've had a lot of horses there," Atchley said.
Fans cheered as Palace Malice ran the race. Initially, he had them, but as the end got closer, Palace Malice fell further behind. He finished in 12th place.
"He took a quick lead and probably tired out," said Sam Erd, who has been hosting folks at his restaurant during the derby for 32 years.
Erd says despite Malice's quick start and slow finish, it's an honor to have a horse he knows in the race.
"It's quite an excitement. I couldn't imagine being there today ... rooting them on ... I couldn't imagine that," Erd said.
While the face of shock and surprise hit many here, they can move past it -- for one reason.
"It's all about the horses," Erd said.
Palace Malice finished in 12th place but held the lead early and eventually lost the lead to Orb. The total purse for the Derby was about $2 million. Orb took about $1.4 of it.