Kentucky Oaks 2024 (US): Know about its History, Fun Facts and FAQs

The Kentucky Oaks, a highly anticipated thoroughbred horse competition held at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, is a three-year-old mare-only event, established in 1875, alongside the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Kentucky Oaks 2024: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, hosts the Kentucky Oaks every year on the Friday preceding the Kentucky Derby. It occurs this year on May 3. Lewis Clark, Jr., established the organization in 1875. The Kentucky Oaks garners immense attention as a highly anticipated thoroughbred horse competition in the United States, alongside the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Only three-year-old fillies that are mares can participate in the exclusive Longines Kentucky Oaks event. It continues to be one of the most ancient and ongoingly contested athletic competitions in history.

Kentucky Oaks: History

The first Kentucky Oaks race was held on May 19, 1875, at Churchill Downs, which was known as the Louisville Jockey Club at the time. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., who oversaw the coordination of the Kentucky Derby, the Clark Handicap, and the Falls City Handicap, managed the event. Two of the earliest sporting events conducted in the United States were the Kentucky Oaks and the Derby. The British Epsom Oaks have been held annually in Epsom, Surrey, since 1779. The Kentucky Oaks found inspiration in this event. The Kentucky Oaks has been held every year since its first edition, where Vinaigrette, a winning horse, received a prize of $1,175.

Some people consider Kentucky Oaks to be one of the most well-known horse events in America. In 1980, more than fifty thousand individuals attended the race. Lemon & Son, Inc. hired Redlich & Co. of New York City to produce a trophy cup in honor of the Kentucky Oaks winner. The trophy is 25 inches in height, is typically crafted of sterling silver, and features horse-head handles on both sides and an ornate silver horseshoe atop.

Each year, the inaugural recipient’s name is engraved onto the trophy. Before the 1924 competition, Churchill Downs inscribed each victor on the trophy in 1955. Prince Doreen was the inaugural recipient of the trophy, which was bestowed with her name inscribed upon it in 1924. A progenitor from the Audley Farm Stable, her owner Harry Stutts, and trainer S. Miller Henderson all attended the inaugural ceremonial presentation.

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Kentucky Oaks: FAQs

What is the maximum number of horses permitted to compete in the Kentucky Oaks?

Fourteen horses.

The defendant of the 2021 Oaks?

In 2021, Malathaat, the early favorite, triumphed at the Kentucky Oaks.

Does the Kentucky Oaks span the entire day?

Yes. The event spans an entire day, commencing at 10:30 a.m. and concluding at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Kentucky Oaks: Activities

Acquire your reservations.

This year, purchase tickets to the Kentucky Oaks horse race. Visit the ticket master to complete your purchase. Do this as soon as possible, as tickets will sell out rapidly.

Share through your social media accounts

One need not be in Kentucky to participate in the celebration. You can submit images and videos from the racetrack to social media with the hashtag #Kentuckyoaks or view them online.

Explore the past of Kentucky Oaks.

Participate in the festivities by acquiring knowledge regarding the historical background of Kentucky Oaks. Gain knowledge of the track’s history, bidding procedures, horse racing, and race track etiquette.

Five Fascinating Facts about Kentucky Oaks

The color of the day is pink.

In observance of Kentucky Oaks Day, which is committed to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer, Churchill Downs will be illuminated in pink.

A Kentucky libation

The Kentucky Oaks cocktail is its official creation.

Initial female victor

Rosie Napravnik is the first female jockey to win a Kentucky Oaks horse competition.

100,000 annual spectators

Each year since its 127th staging in 2001, the Kentucky Oaks has attracted approximately 100,000 spectators.

Fillies adorned with lilies

The victor is awarded $750,000 and a large lily garland blanket; thus, the Fillies came to be known as the Lilies.

Kentucky Oaks: Importance

This occasion is social.

Spectating on horse racing events provides an exceptional occasion to make new acquaintances. Your opportunity to dress up can enhance the enjoyment of the occasion. It is family-friendly, with events for people of all ethnicities and ages.

It is tremendously exciting.

Being present at a racetrack is an experience unlike any other. When the horses speed down the final stretch of the racetrack, one is virtually on the edge of one’s seat. At this moment, the audience is filled with palpable excitement.

It causes greater cancer awareness.

Awareness is raised regarding breast and ovarian cancer through Kentucky Oaks. In observance of cancer patients, participants don the color pink on the day of the occasion.

Kentucky Oaks: Dates

2024May 3Friday
2025May 2Friday
2026May 1Friday

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