Oaks Day (as we Louisvillians call it), which occurs the Friday before the Derby, is considered Louisville’s Local Day. However, it has gained popularity with out-of-towners over the years. This race is a Grade 1 stakes race for 3 year-old Thoroughbred Fillies and the winning horse is draped with a beautiful garland of Stargazer Lilies. This day is resplendent with the color pink from the winners garland to the apparel of attendees in honor of the Oaks official flower and of Churchill Downs partnership with Horses & Hope, a regional organization that increases breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referrals among Kentucky horse industry workers and their families.

It’s been many years since I last attended this race but will always remember the pageantry of the day. I especially enjoyed being in the paddock area where you get to see the horses and their jockeys (up close) on display before being led out to the racetrack. Hope you get to attend either the Oaks Day or Derby this year. Would love to hear about your experience if you go.

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