DERBY WEEK: Belle of Louisville wins 57th annual Great Steamboat Race

Silver antlers presented to the Belle of Louisville's team after Louisville's Belle won the 2019 Great Steam Boat Race over rival, the Belle of Cincinnati

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- The Belle of Louisville has reclaimed the silver antlers, winning the 57th annual Great Steamboat Race presented by IBEW Local 369.

The race is a highlight of derby week. Every year, weather permitting, the Belle of Louisville competes against the Belle of Cincinnati for the antlers.

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“It was a great race,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “The Belle of Louisville takes back the title for the first time since 2015. No collusion and no debate from the judges.”

The Belle of Louisville has won 28 times since 1963.

The race follows a 14-mile course on the Ohio River.

The winner has to earn points by performing five tasks on land and on the boat throughout the day, including paddle-wheel assembly and a knot-tying contest.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!