2024 Kentucky Oaks

Where: Louisville, Kentucky at the Churchill Downs Racecourse
When: 19482 Days until the The Oaks takes place on Friday, May 5th, 2023.
Wager: Our Kentucky Oaks Future Odds will be live in our sportsbook!

Bet on the Belmont Stakes
Bet on the Belmont Stakes

The Kentucky Oaks is a Grade I Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old fillies, staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky. The race currently covers 1 1/8 miles (1811 metres) at Churchill Downs; carry 121 pounds (55 kg).

Friday, May 4th, 2018, KENTUCKY OAKS DAY Race Schedule
Edgewood Stakes $150,000-added, 1 1/16 mile (turf), 3-year-old fillies 1:26PM EST

Grade III Alysheba Stakes

$100,000-added, 1 1/16 mile, 3-year-olds and up 2:10PM EST
Grade III Aegon Turf Sprint $150,000-added, five furlongs, 3-year-olds and up 3:04PM EST
Grade II Louisville Breeders' Cup $300,000-added, 1 1/16 mile, fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up 3:54PM EST
Grade III Crown Royal American Turf $150,000-added,1 1/16 mile, 3-year-olds 4:47PM EST
Grade I Kentucky Oaks $500,000-added, 1 1/8 mile, 3-year-old fillies 5:45PM EST

$25 general admission

History of the Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks dates back to the earliest days of Churchill Downs, which was known as the Louisville Jockey Club when it conducted its first race meet in 1875. Its first running was held Wednesday, May 19, 1875 as one of four stakes races developed by founder Meriwether Lewis Clark for the track's inaugural meet. The others were the Kentucky Derby, the Clark Handicap and the Falls City Handicap. The Kentucky Oaks is renewed each year on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby, but it is much more than a sister race to the famed "Run for the Roses."

The roster of horses that have won the 1 1/8 mile (1811 metres) race in its first 130 years includes some of the greatest fillies in racing history. Three of those races — the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks and the Clark — were modeled after Classic races in England. The Kentucky Oaks was fashioned in the image of the English Oaks at Epsom Downs.

The distance of that first running of the Kentucky Oaks was 1 ½ miles (2414 metres) and A.B. Lewis & Company's Vinaigrette was the winner. She earned a winning purse of $1,175 and was timed over the 12 furlong (2414 metres) distance in 2:39 ¾.

The victory by Vinaigrette launched a strong tradition for the Kentucky Oaks, which — like the Kentucky Derby — has been renewed each year without interruption since its inaugural running.

Louisvillians once referred to the Oaks as "our Derby," implying that the Derby itself had become the domain of celebrities and out-of-town visitors. In recent years that has changed, as the Oaks has become nearly as popular as the Derby. Indeed, the spectator attendance on "Oaks Day" is usually second only to Derby Day, surpassing attendance at the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders' Cup.

The Kentucky Oaks is one of three races that are the de facto distaff counterparts to the Triple Crown races, along with the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park. They have not, however, been officially referred to as the "Filly Triple Crown"; that distinction goes to three races run at Belmont and Saratoga Race Course in New York, now officially called the Triple Tiara to avoid trademark conflicts. However, consideration has been given within the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), the sport's governing body in the United States, to change the Triple Tiara series to the Kentucky Oaks, Black-Eyed Susan and Acorn.

The Kentucky Oaks has been run at four different distances:

  • 1 1/2 miles (2414 metres) — 1875 to 1890
  • 1 1/4 miles (2012 metres) — 1891 to 1895
  • 1 1/16 miles (1710 metres) — 1896 to 1919 and 1942 to 1981
  • 1 1/8 miles (1811 metres) — 1920 to 1941 and 1982 to present