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The Kentucky Oaks is an annual Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies (female horses) held at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Kentucky Oaks is an annual Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies (female horses) held at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. It's traditionally run on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby, which is held on the first Saturday in May. The Kentucky Oaks is often referred to as the "Run for the Lilies" because the winning filly is draped in a garland of lilies, similar to the roses presented to the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

History:

The Kentucky Oaks has a rich history dating back to its inaugural running in 1875, the same year as the first Kentucky Derby. The race was inspired by the success of the Kentucky Derby and was intended to provide a similar prestigious event for fillies. Over the years, the Kentucky Oaks has become one of the most important races for three-year-old fillies in the United States.

Significance:

The Kentucky Oaks is significant not only for its role as a premier horse racing event but also for its cultural and social impact. It's a celebrated tradition in Kentucky and beyond, drawing fans from around the world to witness top-class horse racing and experience the unique atmosphere of Churchill Downs during Derby weekend.

Observance:

The Kentucky Oaks is a highly anticipated event that attracts a large and diverse audience, including racing enthusiasts, casual fans, and celebrities. In addition to the race itself, the day is marked by various festivities, including fashion shows, parties, and charitable events. Many attendees dress in pink, the official color of the Kentucky Oaks, to show their support for breast cancer awareness, as the race partners with organizations dedicated to this cause.

Traditions:

Traditions associated with the Kentucky Oaks include the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" by spectators before the race, the presentation of the lilies garland to the winning filly, and the fashion and social scene surrounding the event. The Kentucky Oaks also features its own official cocktail, the Oaks Lily, a refreshing drink made with vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and lime juice.

Overall, the Kentucky Oaks is a cherished tradition that showcases the athleticism of Thoroughbred fillies, celebrates Kentucky's rich horse racing heritage, and brings together people from all walks of life to enjoy a day of excitement, elegance, and camaraderie at Churchill Downs.

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