The first ever Kentucky Oaks® was run on May 19th, 1875 and founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. the same man who founded the Kentucky Derby®. The Kentucky Oaks® is a race for three-year-old thoroughbred Fillies, female horses. In 2012 history was made when Rosie Napravnik became the first woman ever to win the Kentucky Oaks® with her horse, Believe You Can, and believe she did!
The winner of the Kentucky Oaks® receives a large garland of pink stargazer Lilies. Pink is the color that covers Churchill Downs® on Kentucky Oaks® race day, from the drinks to attire to the decorations around the track. This is to show support for breast cancer awareness, and guests can show that through wearing pink and by drinking a Grey Goose Oaks Lily, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks®.
Another way to contribute support is by participating in the emotional Survivors Parade to cheer on brave Breast Cancer survivors.
Kentucky Oaks® Survivors Parade
This year, the Kentucky Oaks® will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary of the Survivors Parade. The parade is a march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors held on Churchill Downs’ historic racetrack. Between February 20th and March 18th, fans will be invited to nominate themselves, a relative, or a friend who has survived breast and/or ovarian cancer by sharing the survivor’s story. During this time fans are able to select a nominee and donate to the Kentucky Oaks® charitable cause, Derby Divas and the Norton Cancer Institute of Breast Health Program, on behalf of that nominee.
144 survivors will walk in the parade just before the 144th running of the Kentucky Oaks®.
The Longines Fashion Contest
As mentioned above, many guests come to the Kentucky Oaks® dressed in their best pink outfit to support breast and ovarian cancer survivors. With that being said, fashion is a large part of the Kentucky Oaks® experience. It gives women the chance to dress their best in their pink attire, fabulous hats, and fascinators, during the ultimate girls’ day.
Every year on the Kentucky Oaks® race day a fashion show is held for guests to enter and celebrity judges will decide who pulled out all the stops. Following the show, a winner will be selected for “best dressed” and extra points are awarded for wearing pink!
As the Official Experience Partner for Churchill Downs®, Derby Experiences offers a variety of Official Ticket Packages to the Kentucky Oaks®! With the packages come a reserved seat to the race, luxury hospitality access in a climate-controlled venue complete with a celebrity jockey meet & greet, gourmet food and premium beverage options and so much more!
For more information fill out our form or give us a call at 888.384.7088!