Shelbyville, Ind.—July 3, 2018—Nine women took the stage at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino last Thursday evening to compete for their chance to sit on the 2018 Queen’s Court and become the third-annual Indiana Derby Queen. The pageant is a part of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby held at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 14, presented by Miller Lite.
Five finalists were selected in the preliminary pageant, held on Thursday, June 28, at Indiana Grand. The 2018 Indiana Derby Queen Court ambassadors are Indiana residents Kayla Bruner, Dainyell Durr, Maelee Holderread, Sherraine Miller, and Michaela Orme.
The finalists were chosen based on their speaking ability, poise, personality, and performance in the swimwear and evening gown portions of the pageant. The Queen’s Court will make personal appearances during the Indiana Derby festivities on Friday, July 13 at A Knight in Arms and Saturday, July 14 at The Royal Derby. Additionally, the court will host the Royal Tea Party on Monday, July 9 for Girls, Inc. of Shelbyville and Shelby County.
ABOUT THE FINALISTS:
Kayla Bruner: Residing in Indianapolis, Kayla Bruner works as a litigation paralegal. Bruner noted that she loves her two Corgis and is active in the community. If crowned the 2018 Derby Queen, Bruner plans to use the title to become even more involved in community efforts through volunteerism, with increased visibility as the Indiana Derby Queen.
Dainyell Durr: A Plainfield resident, Dainyell Durr was quoted as saying “The Derby Queen pageant has been a great experience with a chance to meet some wonderful women.” Durr grew up watching horse racing at Indiana Grand and describes herself as a “down to earth” girl. Durr stated she has a passion for her community, and would use some of the prize money to travel.
Maelee Holderread: Plymouth high school English teacher Maelee Holderread stated that she appreciates the support of her friends and family given throughout the pageant process. “If chosen as the next Derby Queen, I will proudly wear the crown to represent the Indiana Derby throughout the state of Indiana,” Holderread stated.
Sherraine Miller: An Indianapolis resident, Sherraine Miller is an undergraduate student and currently works as a bartender. Miller said the pageant has helped build her self-confidence. If she wins the crown, she plans to use the prize money to help further her education, and proudly become an ambassador for the Indiana Derby.
Michaela Orme: From Arlington, Michaela Orme is a research associate and currently works in the farming industry. Orme said she signed up for the pageant to build her confidence and push herself out of her comfort zone. She noted the entire experience has been very positive and she is grateful for the opportunity to meet the other contestants.
The 2017 Derby Queen, Elizabeth Lecher of Lebanon, will be in attendance during the crowning of the 2018 Indiana Derby Queen on Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m. The Indiana Derby Queen will receive $5,000 and serve as a representative for the Indiana Derby throughout the state of Indiana. Additionally, the first runner up will be awarded $2,500 and the second runner up will receive $1,000. The people’s choice winner will receive $500.
“We would like to say thank you to each of this year’s Derby Queen participants. All of the contestants presented themselves with professionalism, poise and beauty. The judges definitely had a difficult job selecting only five finalists,” said Alicia Mummert, Indiana Grand’s senior marketing manager. “We’re excited to have the Queen’s Court present during the festivities surrounding the 24th Running of the Indiana Derby, and we look forward to crowning the next Indiana Derby Queen on Saturday, July 14. On behalf of Indiana Grand, I would like to wish each finalist the very best of luck.”
The Indiana Derby showcases some of the best three-year-olds in the country and carries the tradition as A Royal Derby. In addition to the crowning of the Indiana Derby Queen on July 14, the day will be highlighted by six stakes races and purses in excess of $1.1 million including the 23rd running of the Grade III $200,000 Indiana Oaks.
Miller Lite serves as the 2018 presenting sponsor of the Indiana Derby. McNamara Florist, Family Leisure, and Scientific Games are associate sponsors of the event. More information, including the full racing schedule and a complete list of racing promotions and events, is available at www.indianagrand.com.
Photo Caption: (From Left to Right) The 2018 Indiana Derby Queen’s Court is Maelee Holderread, Michaela Orme, Dainyell Durr, Kayla Bruner, Sherraine Miller. The Indiana Derby Queen will be named at the Indiana Derby, on Saturday, July 14.
Kiersten Flint, Vice President of Advertising & Communications