Thorntons Great Bed Races

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2018 Theme: “Race for the Cause”

Everyone has a cause near and dear to their heart. Whether it is cancer, homelessness, or hunger, we want you to promote your cause! To help encourage all of our racers, Kentucky Derby Festival and Thorntons will make a cash donation to the cause or charity represented by our first place winners. You are literally Racing for your Cause!


Monday, April 30, 2018
4:00 PM: Official Tailgate Party
6:00 PM: Parade of the Beds
7:00 PM: Races Begin


Grab four of your co-workers, build a bed on wheels, decorate it, dress in a ridiculous costume—and then race. That pretty much sums up the Kentucky Derby Festival Bed Races. Each year, thousands of enthusiasts gather to cheer on more than 40 teams, while on-air personalities from WAVE TV anchor the live coverage from every angle, from the crowd to the pits.

Admission: FREE with 2018 Pegasus Pin®

Entry Fee: $150/team (includes 5 participant t-shirts and 5 collectible event pins)



Hosted by 107.7 The Eagle personalities, the awards ceremony recognizes the following winners:

  • Fastest Course Times (two divisions; champions & fun)
  • Best Decorated
  • Most Entertaining
  • Cone Eater Award



  • Minimum bed size: 64” wide by 75” long (no part of the bed including push bars may exceed 90” width by 100” length)
  • Minimum height: 10” from the ground to the support frame. (Steering may go lower the 10”)
  • Wheels: Four load bearing, no more and no less, and designed so that all wheels contact the ground. Distance between wheels may not exceed 80” from outside to outside, front to rear.
  • Steering: Provisions must be made to steer the bed. May include a mechanism to steer the front two wheels, or a combination of rotating caster wheels on the front and fixed on the rear etc…
  • Mattress: Must be innerspring, minimum size 54” wide by 75” long by 7” thick (standard double size mattress)
  • Push Bars: No jagged or sharp edges allowed, may not exceed maximum dimension of the bed (Pushers must be able to see the course in front of the bed when they are pushing.)
  • Maximum height of the bed may not exceed 96” from the ground.
  • Decorations for the best decorated division and parade may be removed for competition – this process cannot interfere with team start time.


  • All participants are required to wear helmets during the race.
  • All participants must be at least 18 years of age
  • All participants must sign a waiver on the day of the event, prior to race time.
  • Each team may race only once and must remain in its designated lane on the racecourse at all times. If contact is made – judges will determine fault.
  • No alcoholic beverages will be allowed at the bed race site.
  • All decisions by race officials are final.
  • All beds/teams must be decorated for the parade. Decorations may be removed or left on for racing, unless racing officials determine the decorations are an obstacle to racing in which case they must be removed.
  • All bed/team costs are borne by the entrants. This includes the entry fee, which is non-refundable.
  • All participants must wear a Pegasus Pin or Bed Race event pin for entry into the dorm area.
  • Mouth guard is suggested for bed rider.

2017 Results – Champions Division:


Place Team Time
1 Texas Roadhouse 34:24
2 Bluegrass Indoor Carting 34:83
3 Ford Assembly/UAW 35:66


2017 Results – Fun Division:


Place Team Time
1 Bubba’s 33 34:60
2 Premier Packaging 37:95
3 Ramming Speed (DuPont Manual High School) 38:42



  • Best Decorated Bed: Ford Assembly/UAW (Louisville/Kentuckiana City theme with the Abraham Lincoln Bridge, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Belle of Louisville, Jeff Boat, the Colgate Clock, and Riverfront Amphitheater, among other city icons.)
  • Most Entertaining: Uspiritus Trailblazers (“Trailblazer” theme with their bed decorated like a covered wagon with pioneer and oxen costumes.)
  • Cone Eater Award: Huffman Hustlers