Kentucky Oaks Tickets
Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
Date: Friday before the Kentucky Derby, which is held on the first Saturday in May. Gates open at 8 a.m.
Winner’s Purse: $1.25 million
Inaugural Race: May 19, 1875
Founder: Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, who also founded the Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Oaks TicketsThe Kentucky Oaks is one of the longest-running sports events in America, and it still takes place at the original location. Like the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks is a Grade 1 Stakes race held at Churchill Downs. Grade 1 is the highest ranking, and stakes races are graded according to criteria created by the American Graded Stakes Committee, a committee created by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). Criteria include, among other considerations, the size of the total purse, requirements that the horses carry higher levels of weight in higher grade races, restrictions on the use of medications given to the horses and openness to entrants. The fillies in the Kentucky Oaks carry the same weight as they do in the Kentucky Derby: 121 pounds, which combines the weight of the jockey plus weights in the saddle. The fillies race over a distance of 1 1/8 miles. If you’re familiar with the owners, trainers and jockeys from the Kentucky Derby, you’ll see the same top names racing fillies in the Kentucky Oaks. Get your Kentucky Oaks tickets at StubHub.
How do fillies qualify for the Kentucky Oaks?Age and sex of the horse are the only limits to entrants allowed among the top graded races. While the Kentucky Derby is open to all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds, the Kentucky Oaks is open only to 3-year-old Thoroughbred fillies — not colts or geldings. Eligible fillies may come from anywhere in the United States or from any country in the world. Fillies qualify by earning points through their placement in races designated as prep races. Places are reserved for the top 14 point-winning fillies, with the next four point-winning fillies as alternates in case one of the top 14 withdraws for some reason such as illness, injury or to race against the boys in the Kentucky Derby.
Do winning fillies receive a garland of flowers?Yes, at the inaugural Kentucky Oaks, the winning filly received a garland of roses. However, in 1991, the Kroger Co. was commissioned to design a feminine version of the Derby garland for the fillies. Kroger selected the stargazer lily to be the official flower of the Kentucky Oaks as a symbol that combines both strength and femininity. Since then, the fillies have received a garland of stargazer lilies known as "Lilies for the Fillies."
Does the Kentucky Oaks have its own official cocktail?Yes, it does. The Oaks Lily was introduced in 2006. This refreshing, fan-favorite drink contains Finlandia vodka, sweet and sour mix, Triple Sec and cranberry juice.
Why do guests feature the color pink in their Kentucky Oaks race day wardrobes?The Kentucky Oaks raises money for breast and ovarian cancer, so guests prominently incorporate pink into their ensembles. Guests also can include large, Kentucky-Derby-style statement hats and fascinators. A Survivors’ March is held on the race track before the race. Guests also can participate in the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest by walking the Pink Carpet in front of celebrity judges. Strut your stuff, and you might just win a Longines watch.
Are there any special wagers you can make when betting on the Kentucky Oaks?If you place the bet before the Kentucky Oaks begins, you can place a bet on the Oaks-Derby Double. Bet on the horse that you think will win each race. If you’re right, cash in and claim your winnings after the Kentucky Derby.
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