- Kentucky Oaks
class = Grade 1
horse race = Kentucky Oaks
caption = "Lilies for the Fillies"
Churchill Downs Louisville, Kentucky, USA
inaugurated = 1875
race type =
website = [http://www.kentuckyoaks.com/ Kentucky Oaks]
distance = 1⅛ miles
track = Dirt, Left-handed
qualification = 3-year-old fillies
weight = 121 lbs. (54.9 kg)
purse = US$500,000-addedThe Kentucky Oaks is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old
Thoroughbredfillies staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The race currently covers 1⅛ miles (1811 m) at Churchill Downs; carry 121 pounds (54.9 kg). The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derbyeach year. The winner gets a $500,000 dollar purse and a garland of lilies.
The first running of the Kentucky Oaks was on
May 19, 1875back when Churchill Downs was known as the Louisville Jockey Club. [http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2002/kentucky_oaks/oaks_history/ Kentucky Oaks History] ] The race was founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr.along with the Kentucky Derby, the Clark Handicap, and the Falls City Handicap."The Encyclopedia of Louisville" By John E. Kleber (University Press of Kentucky) Page 467 ISBN 0813121000] The Oaks and the Derby are the oldest continuously contested sporting events in history and the only horse races to be held at its original site since its conception. The Kentucky Oaks was modeled after the British Epsom Oaks. In the first race the horse Vinaigrette won the then 1 ½ mile race in a time of 2:39.75 winning a purse of $1,175. Since that race the Kentucky Oaks has been held each year.
The Kentucky Oaks has been run at four different distances. In 1875 the race was 1½ miles and remained that way until 1890. In 1891 it was changed to 1¼ miles for a brief peroid until 1895. After the two changed they had a series of changes, which from 1896 to 1919 it would be 1 1/16 miles, then changed in 1920 to 1⅛ miles until 1941 and back to 1 /16 miles in 1942 to 1981. Finally in 1982 the race would be set as 1⅛ miles and has been that distance since.
The Kentucky Oaks is considered by some to be the second most popular horse race in the American horse racing society due to its attendance. It attracts about 100,000 people in attendance a year since 2001's 127th running of the Kentucky Oaks. ["Insiders' Guide to Louisville, Kentucky & Southern Indiana, 2nd edition" By Chip Nold, Bob (Globe Pequot) page 175 ISBN 1573800430] In 1980 it was about 50,000 people and by 1989 it had reached about 67,000 people. The attendance at the Kentucky Oaks usually surpassed the attendance at the
Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders' Cup.
The Kentucky Oaks, the
Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, and the Acorn Stakesare the counter parts to the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. However the "Filly Triple Crown" known as the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racingis a series of three races at the Belmont and Saratoga Race courses. Some consideration has been made by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association(NTRA) to change the Triple Tiara series to the three counter parts of the Triple Crown.
The 2006 horse
Lemons Foreverhad the highest odds at 47-1 ever to win the Kentucky Oaks. [ [http://horseracing.about.com/od/triplecrown2000/ss/aa050506a.htm Horseracing.about.com 2006 Kentucky Oaks Results] ] The fastest time to finish the 1⅛ mile race is 1:48.64 set in 2003 by Bird Town. The fastest time for the 1 ½ mile race is 2:39 by the horses Felicia set in 1877, tied by Belle of Nelson in 1878 and tied again Katie Creel in 1882. The 1 ¼ mile race record is held by Selika set in 1894 at 2:15. The record for the 1 1/16 mile race is 1:43.75 set be Ari’s Mona in 1950 and tied by Sweet Alliance in 1977.
Winners of the Kentucky Oaks
Note: In 1924, Glide finished first but was disqualified for fouling.
List of attractions and events in Louisville, Kentucky
List of graded stakes at Churchill Downs
* [http://www.kentuckyoaks.com/ Kentucky Oaks website]
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