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Right now, as we speak, the 141st Kentucky Derby is happening. It is the crème de la crème of horse racing and a big-time American institution. It also involves a lot of really decadent hats. Why the hats? That’s a fashion statement that goes back to the race’s origins, it’s also said by some to be lucky. Also, it’s fun to wear big hats.

In case you won’t be on the scene for an exciting day filled with horse races, “hoorays,” and hats, we thought we’d bring some of the Kentucky Derby spirit to you — by way of hats . . . and animals. So Happy Derby Day! And even happier hat gazing.

We adore these lovely lady dogs ready to kick off the race in style.

“My, my, my . . . This race is practically perfect in every way!”

This sophisticated kitty knows classy competition when he sees it.

“This race is 1,000% classy.”

This pup will shed a tear if her favorite horse doesn’t win.

“If American Pharoah doesn’t win, I’m gonna lose it for real.”

This feline friend went all out on her DIY hat.

“Michael’s Craft Store. 40% off coupon. Enough said.”

This country guinea pig KNOWS style.

“Straw hats are in. Curls are in. Together? OMG, you’re stylin’.”

This lady pug has seen a race or two in her day.

“Another day, another Derby.”

This kitten is still learning the ropes of the race.

“I iz horse?”

Ferret so fancy.

“I’m in the fast lane from LA to Tokyo.”

This turtle puts Mr. Monopoly to shame.

“It ain’t a top hat unless it’s 24 carat.”

And finally, a monkey that’s created his own genre of Derby chic.

“I call it biker-clown-punk. Deal with it.”

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