Race revelers at this year's 68th annual Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase were not daunted by the deep mud that oozed through most of the Percy Warner Park grounds. In fact, spirits stayed high and it was party as usual Saturday as women donned brilliant hats adorned with peacock feathers, flowers, ribbons and over-sized bows as well as sundresses in bright yellows, blues, pinks and every imaginable print and men looked dapper in seersucker suits, linen pants and the occasional slacks with festive prints of crawfish, sailboats or four-leaf clovers.
The rain brought a heightened level of chivalry as many were quick to give a hand or arm to anyone slipping in the mud, but it also meant the introduction of an impromptu fashion: the rain boot. Many eschewed heels and flip flops for knee-high rubber boots in pink, beige or black-and-white plaids, pastel hues or plain ol' fisherman-style navy, black or charcoal colors. Some even did away with shoes all together and tramped around barefoot.
While the rain may not have been a major upset, the outcome of the $150,000 prize-winning Iroquois race sure proved to be one. At a little past 5 p.m., underdog competitor Pierrot Lunaire, ridden by jockey Chip Miller, took the win by three horse lengths, beating Good Night Shirt, who, after two consecutive wins of the Steeplechase in 2007 and 2008, was going for a hat trick.