Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The race currently covers 1+18 miles (1,800 m) at Churchill Downs; the horses carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year. The winner gets $750,000 of the $1,250,000 purse, and a large garland blanket of lilies, resulting in the nickname "Lillies for the Fillies." A silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy is presented to the winner.

Kentucky Oaks
Grade 1 race
Garland of Star Gazer Lillies.jpg
Lillies for the Fillies
LocationChurchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Race typeThoroughbred
Race information
Distance1+18 miles
Qualification3-year-old fillies
Weight121 lb (55 kg)
Purse$1.25 million
1st: $750,000


The first running of the Kentucky Oaks was on May 19, 1875, when Churchill Downs was known as the Louisville Jockey Club.[1] The race was founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. along with the Kentucky Derby, the Clark Handicap, and the Falls City Handicap.[2]

The Oaks and the Derby are the oldest continuously contested sporting events in American history.[2] The Kentucky Oaks was modeled after the British Epsom Oaks, which has been run annually at Epsom Downs, Epsom, in Surrey since 1779. In the first race, the horse Vinaigrette won the then 1+12 miles (2.4 km) mile race in a time of 2:39+34, winning a purse of $1,175. Since that race, the Kentucky Oaks has been held each year.

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oaks was rescheduled from May 1 to September 4.[3]

The Kentucky Oaks is considered by some to be among the most popular horse races in American horse-racing society due to its high attendance. It has attracted about 100,000 people in attendance each year since 2001's 127th running of the Kentucky Oaks.[4] In 1980, attendance reached about 50,000 people and by 1989, it had increased to about 67,000.[1] The attendance at the Kentucky Oaks ranks third in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup. The attendance of the Kentucky Oaks typically only trails the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes; for more information see American thoroughbred racing top attended events.

The Kentucky Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, and the Acorn Stakes are the counterparts to the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, held at Churchill Downs, Pimlico Race Course and Belmont Park, respectively. The "Filly Triple Crown", known as the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, is a series of three races at the Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has considered changing the Triple Tiara series to the three counterparts of the Triple Crown.

In local cultureEdit

Despite the increasing number of out-of-state visitors who attend the race every year, the "Oaks" (as local residents simply refer to it) is considered to be a local event by the people of Kentuckiana (the Ohio Valley, centered around Louisville, and consisting of much of northern Kentucky and southern Indiana). Large crowds of Louisvillians and others from the Kentuckiana attend the Oaks annually and the infield of the race track hosts numerous musical attractions, boardwalk games, and food and alcoholic beverage vendors. Bringing in one's own alcohol is forbidden at Churchill Downs and many locals revel in finding ingenious ways to smuggle in their own libations, rather than pay the inflated prices inside Churchill Downs. Most every school and quite a few businesses in the Kentuckiana region treat the Oaks as a holiday. Perhaps out of self-consciousness for the gambling aspect of the race, none of the region's schools declare that the holiday is explicitly because of the Oaks and most simply say it is an "administrative holiday."

Changes in distanceEdit

The Kentucky Oaks has been run at four different distances:

  • 1875–1890, the race was 1+12 miles;
  • 1891–1895, it was 1+14 miles;
  • 1896–1919, it was 1+116 miles;
  • 1920–1941, changed to 1+18 miles;
  • 1942–1981, run at 1+116 miles; and
  • 1982, set at 1+18 miles, and it has been that distance since.[1]


Speed record
Largest winning margin
Longest shot to win the Oaks
Most wins by a jockey
Female jockeys to win
Most wins by a trainer
Most wins by an owner
Only brothers to both win the Kentucky Oaks

Carl used the original German spelling of "Goose", which one of a few spellings was "Ganz", but also Gantz, Gans, and so on. [8] The Goose brothers are cousins of Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., the founder of the Louisville Jockey Club.


2021 Malathaat John R. Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher Shadwell Stable 1+18 1:48.99 I
2020 Shedaresthedevil Florent Geroux Brad H. Cox Flurry Racing Stables LLC, Qatar Racing Limited, Big Aut Farms 1+18 1:48.28 I
2019 Serengeti Empress José Ortiz Tom Amoss Joel Politi 1+18 1:50.17 I
2018 Monomoy Girl Florent Geroux Brad H. Cox Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables (Sol Kumin), Elkstone Group, Bethlehem Stables (Michael Caruso) 1+18 1:49.13 I
2017 Abel Tasman Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert China Horse Club 1+18 1:51.62 I
2016 Cathryn Sophia Javier Castellano John Servis Cash Is King Stable 1+18 1:50.53 I
2015 Lovely Maria Kerwin Clark J. Larry Jones Brereton Jones 1+18 1:50.45 I
2014 Untapable Rosie Napravnik Steve Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds 1+18 1:48.68 I
2013 Princess of Sylmar Mike E. Smith Todd Pletcher King of Prussia Stables 1+18 1:49.17 I
2012 Believe You Can Rosie Napravnik J. Larry Jones Brereton C. Jones 1+18 1:49.50 I
2011 Plum Pretty Martin Garcia Bob Baffert Peachtree Stable 1+18 1:49.50 I
2010 Blind Luck Rafael Bejarano Jerry Hollendorfer Hollendorfer/DeDomenico/Carver 1+18 1:50.70 I
2009 Rachel Alexandra Calvin Borel Hal R. Wiggins Dolphus C. Morrison & Michael Lauffer 1+18 1:48.87 I
2008 Proud Spell Gabriel Saez J. Larry Jones Brereton C. Jones 1+18 1:50.01 I
2007 Rags to Riches Garrett Gomez Todd Pletcher D. Smith & M. Tabor 1+18 1:49.99 I
2006 Lemons Forever Mark Guidry Dallas Stewart L. Willis/T. Horton/Stewart 1+18 1:50.07 I
2005 Summerly Jerry Bailey Steve Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds 1+18 1:50.23 I
2004 Ashado John Velazquez Todd Pletcher Starlight Stables et al. 1+18 1:50.81 I
2003 Bird Town Edgar Prado Nick Zito Marylou Whitney Stables 1+18 1:48.64 I
2002 Farda Amiga Chris McCarron Paulo Lobo J. De Camargo et al. 1+18 1:50.41 I
2001 Flute Jerry Bailey Robert J. Frankel Juddmonte Farms 1+18 1:48.85 I
2000 Secret Status Pat Day Neil J. Howard W.S. Farish et al. 1+18 1:50.30 I
1999 Silverbulletday Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram 1+18 1:49.92 I
1998 Keeper Hill David R. Flores Robert J. Frankel John A. Chandler 1+18 1:52.06 I
1997 Blushing K.D. Lonnie Meche Sam David Jr. James & Sue Burns 1+18 1:50.29 I
1996 Pike Place Dancer Corey Nakatani Jerry Hollendorfer Jerry Hollendorfer & George Todaro 1+18 1:49.88 I
1995 Gal In A Ruckus Herb McCauley John T. Ward Jr. John C. Oxley 1+18 1:50.09 I
1994 Sardula Ed Delahoussaye Brian A. Mayberry Ann & Jerry Moss 1+18 1:51.16 I
1993 Dispute Jerry Bailey C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Mills Phipps 1+18 1:52.47 I
1992 Luv Me Luv Me Not Fabio Arguello Jr. Glenn Wismer Philip Maas 1+18 1:51.41 I
1991 Lite Light Corey Nakatani Jerry Hollendorfer Oaktown Stable 1+18 1:48.80 I
1990 Seaside Attraction Chris McCarron D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 1+18 1:52.80 I
1989 Open Mind Ángel Cordero Jr. D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1+18 1:50.60 I
1988 Goodbye Halo Pat Day Charlie Whittingham Arthur B. Hancock III & Alex Campbell Jr. 1+18 1:50.40 I
1987 Buryyourbelief José A. Santos Laz Barrera Dana S. Bray Jr. 1+18 1:50.40 I
1986 Tiffany Lass Gary Stevens Laz Barrera Aaron U. Jones 1+18 1:50.60 I
1985 Fran's Valentine Pat Valenzuela Joseph Manzi Earl Scheib 1+18 1:50.00 I
1984 Lucky Lucky Lucky Ángel Cordero Jr. D. Wayne Lukas Leslie Combs II & Equites St. 1+18 1:51.80 I
1983 Princess Rooney Jacinto Vásquez Frank Gomez Paula J. Tucker 1+18 1:50.80 I
1982 Blush With Pride Bill Shoemaker D. Wayne Lukas Stonereath Farms 1+18 1:50.20 I
1981 Heavenly Cause Laffit Pincay Jr. Woody Stephens Ryehill Farm 1+116 1:43.80 I
1980 Bold 'n Determined Ed Delahoussaye Neil Drysdale Saron Stable 1+116 1:44.80 I
1979 Davona Dale Jorge Velásquez John M. Veitch Calumet Farm 1+116 1:47.20 I
1978 White Star Line Eddie Maple Woody Stephens Newstead Farm 1+116 1:45.20 I
1977 Sweet Alliance Chris McCarron Bud Delp Windfields Farm 1+116 1:43.60 II
1976 Optimistic Gal Braulio Baeza LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 1+116 1:44.60 II
1975 Sun and Snow Garth Patterson George T. Poole C. V. Whitney Stables 1+116 1:44.60 II
1974 Quaze Quilt William Gavidia Thomas W. Kelley Fred W. Hooper 1+116 1:46.60 II
1973 Bag of Tunes Danny Gargan George T. Poole C. V. Whitney Stables 1+116 1:44.20 II
1972 Susan's Girl Victor Tejada John W. Russell Fred W. Hooper 1+116 1:44.20
1971 Silent Beauty Kenny Knapp Richard J. Fischer Leslie Combs II 1+116 1:44.20
1970 Lady Vi-E David Whited John Oxley A. H. & A. M. Stall 1+116 1:44.80
1969 Hail to Patsy David Kassen Loyd Gentry Jr. Walter Kitchen 1+116 1:44.40
1968 Dark Mirage Manuel Ycaza Everett W. King Lloyd I. Miller 1+116 1:44.60
1967 Nancy Jr. Johnny Sellers Stanley M. Rieser Hidden Valley Farm 1+116 1:44.00
1966 Native Street Don Brumfield Les Lear Aisco Stable 1+116 1:44.80
1965 Amerivan Ron Turcotte Mary D. Keim Mary D. Keim 1+116 1:44.40
1964 Blue Norther Bill Shoemaker Wally Dunn Mrs. William R. Hawn 1+116 1:44.20
1963 Sally Ship Manuel Ycaza Woody Stephens Cain Hoy Stable 1+116 1:44.80
1962 Cicada Bill Shoemaker Casey Hayes Meadow Stable 1+116 1:44.60
1961 My Portrait Braulio Baeza Charles R. Parke Fred W. Hooper 1+116 1:47.00
1960 Make Sail Manuel Ycaza Woody Stephens Cain Hoy Stable 1+116 1:44.20
1959[a] Wedlock John L. Rotz Paul Shawhan Paul Shawhan 1+116 1:45.00
Hidden Talent Manuel Ycaza Woody Stephens Cain Hoy Stable 1+116 1:44.40
1958 Bug Brush Eddie Arcaro Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney Stables 1+116 1:44.80
1957 Lori-El Lois C. Cook Mike R. Soto Al Berke & Mike R. Soto 1+116 1:44.80
1956 Princess Turia Bill Hartack Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+116 1:44.80
1955 Lalun Henry E. Moreno Loyd Gentry Jr. Cain Hoy Stable 1+116 1:46.00
1954 Fascinator Anthony DeSpirito Edward A. Neloy Maine Chance Farm 1+116 1:45.00
1953 Bubbley Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+116 1:45.60
1952 Real Delight Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+116 1:45.40
1951 How Eddie Arcaro Horatio Luro Herman B. Delman 1+116 1:45.60
1950 Ari's Mona William Boland John C. Hauer John C. Hauer 1+116 1:43.60
1949 Wistful Gordon Glisson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+116 1:47.40
1948 Challe Anne Willie Garner Walter U. Ridenour F. L. Flanders 1+116 1:48.60
1947 Blue Grass Johnny Longden Willie Crump Arthur B. Hancock Jr. 1+116 1:51.60
1946 First Page James R. Layton C. A. Bidencope H. G. Jones 1+116 1:51.40
1945 Come and Go Charles L. Martin J. Price Sallee Thomas Piatt 1+116 1:49.80
1944 Canina John H. Adams Frank E. Childs Abe Hirschberg 1+116 1:48.60
1943 Nellie L. Wendell Eads Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+116 1:48.60
1942 Miss Dogwood John H. Adams John M. Goode Brownell Combs 1+116 1:47.00
1941 Valdina Myth George King John J. Flanigan Valdina Farms 1+18 1:52.60
1940 Inscolassie Bobby Vedder Ross O. Higdon Woolford Farm 1+18 1:54.40
1939 Flying Lill Carroll Bierman Clifford Porter Mrs. C. H. Cleary 1+18 1:51.00
1938 Flying Lee Leon Haas Duval A. Headley Hal Price Headley 1+18 1:52.80
1937 Mars Shield Alfred Robertson Robert McGarvey Ethel V. Mars 1+18 1:53.40
1936 Two Bob Raymond Workman James W. Healy C. V. Whitney Stables 1+18 1:52.60
1935 Paradisical Glenn Fowler Al Miller Isaac J. Collins 1+18 1:51.20
1934 Fiji Gilbert Elston Thomas B. Young Young Bros. 1+18 1:51.60
1933 Barn Swallow Don Meade Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1+18 1:51.20
1932 Suntica Anthony Pascuma Jack Whyte Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1+18 1:52.20
1931 Cousin Jo Eugene James William Reed Charles Nuckols Sr. 1+18 1:53.00
1930 Alcibiades Robert Finnerty Walter W. Taylor Hal Price Headley 1+18 1:52.60
1929 Rose of Sharon Willie Crump Daniel E. Stewart Johnson N. Camden Jr. 1+18 1:51.00
1928 Easter Stockings Willie Crump Kay Spence Audley Farm Stable 1+18 1:51.60
1927 Mary Jane Danny Connelly S. Sewell Combs Gallaher & Combs 1+18 1:53.40
1926 Black Maria Arthur Mortensen William H. Karrick William R. Coe 1+18 1:55.40
1925 Deeming James McCoy C. B. Dailey C. B. Dailey 1+18 1:54.00
1924 Princess Doreen[b] Harry Stutts S. Miller Henderson Audley Farm Stable 1+18 1:51.80
1923 Untidy John Corcoran James G. Rowe Jr. Helen Hay Whitney 1+18 1:53.00
1922 Startle Danny Connelly John I. Smith Herbert H. Hewitt 1+18 1:52.60
1921 Nancy Lee Linus McAtee John H. McCormack P. A. Clark (William Woodward Sr. nom de course) 1+18 1:50.40
1920 Lorraine Danny Connelly J. Cal Milam Johnson N. Camden Jr. 1+18 1:58.40
1919 Lillian Shaw T. Murray John H. McCormack J. R. Livingston 1+116 1:45.00
1918 Viva America W. Warrington W. N. Potts C. T. Worthington 1+116 1:46.80
1917 Sunbonnet Johnny Loftus Walter B. Jennings A. Kingsley Macomber 1+116 1:46.80
1916 Kathleen Roscoe Goose Pete Coyne George J. Long 1+116 1:47.40
1915 Waterblossom Eddie Martin George Denny Thomas C. McDowell 1+116 1:46.60
1914 Bronzewing William Obert Daniel Lehan Alex P. Humphrey Jr. 1+116 1:45.60
1913 Cream Carl Ganz Auval John Baker Charles C. Van Meter 1+116 1:47.60
1912 Flamma James Butwell J. Duffy E. F. Condran 1+116 1:51.20
1911 Bettie Sue Ted Rice D. Huestis A. Brown 1+116 1:48.00
1910 Samaria Richard Scoville William McDaniel J. P. Ross & Co. 1+116 1:50.20
1909 Floreal Sam Heidel William H. Fizer William H. Fizer 1+116 1:49.20
1908 Ellen-a-Dale Vincent Powers George Denny Thomas C. McDowell 1+116 1:46.60
1907 Wing Ting James Lee Joseph S. Hawkins Joseph S. Hawkins 1+116 1:50.20
1906 King's Daughter E. Robinson Thomas C. McDowell Thomas C. McDowell 1+116 1:47.80
1905 Janeta Dale Austin R. L. Rogers Cassin & Rogers 1+116 1:49.75
1904 Audience Almer Helgesen Kimball Patterson Samuel S. Brown 1+116 1:51.00
1903 Lemco John Reiff Frank Kelly Edward Corrigan 1+116 1:49.75
1902 Wainamoinen M. Coburn T. Hart Talbot Talbot Bros. 1+116 1:51.25
1901 Lady Schorr J. Woods John F. Schorr John W. Schorr 1+116 1:53.00
1900 Etta Monk Overton Edward D. Brown Ed Brown & Co. 1+116 1:48.00
1899 Rush J. Hill Thomas C. McDowell Thomas C. McDowell 1+116 1:52.50
1898 Crocket J. Hill Louis Cahn Julius C. Cahn 1+116 1:51.50
1897 White Frost Tommy Burns L. C. Davis E. S. Gardner & Son 1+116 1:49.00
1896 Soufflé Charlie Thorpe James W. Healy J. M. Murphy 1+116 1:54.50
1895 Voladora Alonzo Clayton Not found Pastime Stable 1+14 2:16.75
1894 Selika Alonzo Clayton John H. Morris Bashford Manor Stable 1+14 2:15.00
1893 Monrovia J. Reagan Edward D. Brown Edward D. Brown 1+14 2:16.00
1892 Miss Dixie Harry Ray Michael T. Danaher Col. James E. Pepper 1+14 2:14.50
1891 Miss Hawkins Tommy Britton T. Hart Talbot Talbot Bros. 1+14 2:18.25
1890 English Lady Hollis Hiram J. Scoggan Scoggan Bros. 1+12 2:42.50
1889 Jewel Ban John Stoval W. Clay John T. Clay 1+12 2:41.00
1888 Ten Penny Andrew McCarthy Jr. Not found M. Welsh 1+12 2:42.00
1887 Florimore Johnston D. W. Kelly Thomas H. Stevens 1+12 2:40.75
1886 Pure Rye Edward Garrison Not found Melbourne Stable 1+12 2:41.00
1885 Lizzie Dwyer Patrick Fuller John W. Rogers Edward C. Corrigan 1+12 2:40.75
1884 Modesty Isaac Murphy John W. Rogers Edward Corrigan 1+12 2:48.25
1883 Vera John Stoval J. Pate R. C. Pate 1+12 2:39.75
1882 Katie Creel John Stoval C. A. Johnson Johnson & Co. 1+12 2:39.00
1881 Lucy May Wolfe Not found R. F. Johnson 1+12 2:41.00
1880 Longitude Jim McLaughlin Not found J. G. Malone 1+12 2:41.75
1879 Liahtunah Hightower Not found J. A. Grinstead 1+12 2:40.25
1878 Belle of Nelson Booth Not found Mattingly & Co. 1+12 2:39.00
1877 Felicia W. James Not found J. W. Reynolds 1+12 2:39.00
1876 Necy Hale W. James Not found Frank B. Harper 1+12 2:42.50
1875 Vinaigrette J. Houston Not found A. B. Lewis & Co. 1+12 2:39.75


  1. ^ In 1959 the race was run in two divisions.
  2. ^ In 1924, Glide finished first but was disqualified for fouling.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Kentucky Oaks History". Archived from the original on December 5, 2007.
  2. ^ a b John E. Kleber, The Encyclopedia of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, p. 467 ISBN 0-8131-2100-0
  3. ^ "Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Derby Week & Spring Racing 2020 Ticket Information". June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Bob Chip Nold, Insiders' Guide to Louisville, Kentucky & Southern Indiana, 2nd edition, Globe Pequot, p. 175 ISBN 1-57380-043-0
  5. ^ David Grening (May 4, 2009). "Rachel Alexandra Kentucky Oaks Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby". ESPN. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Cindy Pierson Dulay (March 7, 2017). "2006 Kentucky Oaks Results". Sports. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "Family Members of Mine". Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  8. ^ "Family Members of Mine". Retrieved May 12, 2018.

External linksEdit