The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier and most lucrative race for 3-year old fillies – female horses - held each year on the day before the Kentucky Derby. This feature race is a $1.25 Million Grade 1 stakes race and awards the winning filly a garland of lilies, appropriately named “lilies for the fillies.” Like the Kentucky Derby, the Longines Kentucky 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 on May 19th, 1875, by the same founder of the Kentucky Derby, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, and is modeled after the British Epsom Oaks. View the fillies in the Longines Kentucky Oaks.
Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs is the second 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.
During Kentucky Oaks Day, the Churchill Downs Racetrack is a vision in pink as more than 100,000 guests are asked to prominently incorporate pink into their attire in an effort to drive national attention to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer. One of the most beloved traditions of this 12-year effort is the Survivors Parade - a march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors that takes place on the historic racetrack prior to the running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks. In 2021, the parade will be virtual due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols. Kentucky Oaks charitable initiative has raised more than $1,000,000 for charity since its inception.
As part of this year’s Kentucky Oaks charitable initiave, Churchill Downs has partnered with the Breast Health Program at Norton Cancer Institute to help cover the costs to renovate the Norton Prevention & Wellness Mobile Prevention Center, which provides free screening services to underserved patients age 40 and older in Jefferson and surrounding counties. Money raised through this effort has also funded the addition of 3-D mammography technology to the mobile unit.
Furthermore, Churchill Downs has previously donated $1 for the sale of each Finlandia Oaks Lily, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks.
If you are planning to attend the Kentucky Oaks, we encourage you to wear any color as long as it is 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.
You can show off your pink duds in the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest, for an opportunity to win a Longines time piece.