Everything You Need to Know About the Kentucky Oaks

Everyone knows about the Kentucky Derby, but few know about its little sister, The Kentucky Oaks. Today we’re filling you in on everything you need to know about this legendary race!

What is the Kentucky Oaks?

The official name is The Longines Kentucky Oaks. It is America’s premier race for 3-year-old female thoroughbred horses, also known as fillies. It is a Grade I race and the winner takes home $750,000 and a garland of lilies, often referred to as “Lilies for the Fillies.” It is the third most attended race, behind the Derby and Preakness.

When is the Kentucky Oaks?

The Kentucky Oaks happens every year and is currently held the Friday before the Kentucky Derby. 

How did the Kentucky Oaks Race get started? 

The Kentucky Oaks was founded by the same man who founded the Kentucky Derby, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr, the grandson of William Clark of the very famous Lewis and Clark expedition. The first Kentucky Oaks actually happened two days after the Kentucky Derby on May 19, 1875. 

Where is the Kentucky Oaks Race held?

The Kentucky Oaks has always been held at Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, though, back in the day it was called the Louisville Jockey Club. 

What do you wear to the Kentucky Oaks?

You can wear whatever you like, however folks do tend to dress up for these racing events with big fancy hats and all. The Kentucky Oaks is particularly special in that since it celebrates female horses, Churchill Downs is usually decorated with pink, attendees and jockeys are encouraged to wear pink, and the event is used to support breast and ovarian cancer charities. The Kentucky Oaks raised more than $820,000 for charity over the last 8 years. 

How much money can you make betting on the Kentucky Oaks?

So, this is the fun stuff. Do you like math? 

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, last year if you bet $2 on the favorite to Win / Place / Show, often considered the most conservative bet, you would have won $3.60. 

If you’d made a more complex bet, namely a super high five bet, playing only $1 and choosing the correct first five horses to make it across the finish line in the right order, then you would have taken home $7,063. 

If you had a crystal ball and were able to choose the winning horse in all of the six designated races and placing a $2.00 Pick 6 bet on Oaks Day, you would have taken home a whopping $103,316.20.

How do you celebrate the 2019 Kentucky Oaks in Milwaukee, WI?

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino throws a big bash for the Derby, but we also invite folks to come in on Friday to watch the 2019 Kentucky Oaks and to place their bets. And if you can’t make it out to Potawatomi on Derby Day, you can also advance wager on the Derby while you’re watching the Oaks.

Once you’ve enjoyed a day of betting and racing, stop by one of our restaurants for a meal, have a few drinks at one of our bars, and then head over to Bar 360 to catch a free concert from Saddlebrook Trio. Make a day and night of it!  

Header image courtesy of the Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office.