Kentucky Derby Plans Scaled Down

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear says Kentucky Derby
festivities around the Capitol will be scaled back this year as the cash-strapped state looks to save money.

Beshear is canceling the scenic Derby train traditionally used to wow VIPs, bringing them by rail from downtown Frankfort to historic Churchill Downs and back. Beshear says officials will use less expensive means of transportation.

Also, the annual free buffet-style Kentucky Derby breakfast, which cost about $70,000, is gone this year. So are the fancy tents: a savings of about $117,000.

Instead, patrons will eat their breakfast on picnic tables and pay a la carte.

Kentucky has been facing a $456 million budget shortfall, and lawmakers recently raised taxes on alcohol and liquor to avoid deeper cuts in government programs.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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