Kentucky Oaks Day In The Bluegrass

Posted at 5:54 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 05:54:28-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Kentucky Derby)– The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier and most lucrative race for 3-year old fillies held each year on the day before the Kentucky Derby.

This feature race is a $1 Million Grade 1 stakes race and awards the winning filly a garland of lilies, appropriately named “lilies for the fillies.”

Like the Derby, the Oaks race is one of the longest continually held sporting events in American history, and one of the only horse races to take place at the original site of its inception.

The race was established May 19, 1875, by the same founder of the Kentucky Derby, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, and is modeled after the British Epsom Oaks. 

Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs is the fourth highest attended horse race in the United States – following the Triple Crown of racing; the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Aside from thunderous live horse racing, fans celebrate fashion and fundraising for critical women’s health issues.

Pink Out

During Kentucky Oaks Day, the historic racetrack is decorated in pink bunting and the more than 100,000 guests are asked to prominently incorporate pink into their attire in an effort to raise funds and drive national attention to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.  

The event culminates in the Survivors Parade – a march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors that takes place on Churchill Downs’ historic racetrack prior to the running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks race. Pink Out has raised more than $820,000 for charity in the past eight years.

As part of this year’s Pink Out, Churchill Downs has partnered with the Breast Health Program at Norton Cancer Institute to help cover the costs for local breast cancer patients to utilize the DigniCap scalp cooling system, an advanced new FDA-cleared technology that helps prevent significant hair loss associated with chemotherapy treatment. Norton Cancer Institute is the first breast cancer care provider in Kentucky and the only health system within a five-state region to offer patients the innovative DigniCap scalp cooling system.

Furthermore, Churchill Downs will donate $1 for the sale of each Oaks Lily, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks. 


If you are planning to attend the Kentucky Oaks, you are encouraged to wear PINK — from hats to handkerchiefs, suits to sundresses, sunglasses to stilettos! Churchill Downs invites you to THINK PINK when planning your attire for Kentucky Oaks day, in honor of the Oaks official flower — the stargazer lily — and in support of Churchill Downs’ official partnership with Horses & Hope.

You can show off your pink duds in the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest, for an opportunity to win a Longines time piece. The contest will take place on the Pink Carpet on Kentucky Oaks day.