Kentucky Oaks 2023: The Kentucky Oaks is conducted annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby. This year, it occurs on May 5. The competition was founded in 1875 by Lewis Clark, Jr. Along with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Oaks is one of the most prestigious thoroughbred horse competitions in the United States. The Longines Kentucky Oaks is a race exclusively for three-year-old fillies. It is one of the earliest sporting events that has been continuously contested throughout history.
HISTORY OF KENTUCKY OAKS
On May 19, 1875, when Churchill Downs was still known as the Louisville Jockey Club, the inaugural Kentucky Oaks race was contested. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., who also supervised the organisation of the Kentucky Derby, the Clark Handicap, and the Falls City Handicap, coordinated the event. The Kentucky Oaks and The Derby are two of the oldest sporting events still conducted in the United States. The British Epsom Oaks, held annually since 1779 in Epsom, Surrey, served as the inspiration for the Kentucky Oaks. The inaugural Kentucky Oaks was won by Vinaigrette, who earned $1,175 in prize money; since then, the race has been contested annually.
According to some, the Kentucky Oaks is among the most renowned horse races in the United States. In 1980, the race drew over 50,000 participants. Lemon & Son, Inc. commissioned Redlich & Co. of New York City to design a trophy cup for the Kentucky Oaks victor. The trophy is typically 25 inches tall, made of sterling silver, with horse-head handles on both sides and a silver horseshoe on top.
Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on the trophy. In 1955, Churchill Downs inscribed all champions prior to 1924 on the trophy. Princess Doreen was the first recipient to have her name engraved on the trophy when it was presented in 1924. Her proprietor Harry Stutts, her trainer S. Miller Henderson, and a breeder from the Audley Farm Stable were in attendance for the first presentation ceremony.
KENTUCKY OAKS ACTIVITIES
Buy your tickets now
This year, purchase tickets to the Kentucky Oaks horse race. You can purchase tickets at the ticket supervisor. Be careful to act quickly, as tickets sell out rapidly.
Share on social media.
You are not required to be in Kentucky to participate in the celebration. You can view videos online or contribute pictures from the racecourse to social media with the hashtag #Kentuckyoaks.
Learn about the past of Kentucky Oaks
Participate in the festivity by studying the history of Kentucky Oaks. Acquaint yourself with its background, bidding, horse racing, and track etiquette.
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5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT KENTUCKY OAKS
Churchill Downs will be decorated in pink to honour Kentucky Oaks Day, which is dedicated to finding a remedy for breast and ovarian cancer.
Kentucky Oaks has a signature cocktail.
First woman victor
Rosie Naprapranik is the first female jockey to win a Kentucky Oaks horse competition.
100,000 visitors per year
Since the 127th running of the Kentucky Oaks in 2001, the race has annually attracted approximately 100,000 spectators.
Flowers for the foals
The winner receives $750,000 in prize money and a large lily garland blanket, garnering the moniker Lillies for the Fillies.
WHY WE LOVE IT
It is a social gathering.
Attending a horse racing event is an excellent way to meet new individuals. You are permitted to dress up, which can make the event more pleasurable. It is family-friendly, with events for all ages and all ethnicities.
It is filled with enthusiasm
The excitement of being on the premises of a racecourse is unparalleled. When the horses are racing down the final stretch of the race track, you’re on the verge of your seat. During this period, the excitement in the crowd is palpable.
It increases awareness of malignancy.
Kentucky Oaks raises awareness of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. On the day of the event, attendees honour cancer patients by wearing pink.
KENTUCKY OAKS DATES