Carly Pearce made her way to Louisville, Ky.'s Churchill Downs on Saturday (May 6) for a landmark national anthem performance at the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky native was brimming with pride as she took the stage in her home state, and she dressed the part, opting for a classic Derby look with no attention to detail spared. Pearce performed in a floral, baby blue dress with matching heels and even a frilly fascinator perched on top of her head.

After the fact, Pearce shared some behind-the-scenes shots on Instagram. She included photos of herself at rehearsals, plus her hair extensions laid out on a table. Of course, Pearce also documented the finished product, posing for photos in her Derby look against the Churchill Downs backdrop.

"My Kentucky heart is the most full. Thanks for having me today [Kentucky Derby]," Pearce wrote.

The 2023 Kentucky Derby, including Pearce's performance of the national anthem, aired on NBC and Peacock on Saturday. The singer's rendition of the national anthem was simple, soulful and classic, and quickly garnered praise on social media, with one fan writing, "Thank you Carly Pearce for the best National Anthem in a long time. Maybe the best ever at the Kentucky Derby."

2023's event marked the 149th iteration of the Kentucky Derby. The winner was three-year-old chestnut colt Mage, who won with 15-1 odds after the heavily favored Forte was disqualified from the race due to a bruised foot, just hours before the Derby was scheduled to kick off.

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