The Kentucky Oaks: Race History & Key Facts

  • Location: Churchill Downs
  • Inaugural Race: 1875
  • Distance: 1 & 1/8 miles (9 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-Handed Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Three-year-old Fillies
  • 2015 Purse: $1 million
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Kentucky Oaks Betting

A Brief History of the Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks race is hosted annually in Louisville, Kentucky at Churchill Downs. The race dates back to 1875 when it was founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., who also founded the Kentucky Derby, the Clark Handicap and the Falls City Handicap. The Kentucky Oaks is considered to be one of the most popular Thoroughbred horse races in the United States, behind only to the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Spectator attendance on "Oaks Day" is approximately 100,000 surpassing that of the Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup.

Both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby have been held at Churchill Downs since they were established and remain the oldest continuously run sporting events in American history. Each year, the Kentucky Oaks takes place the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.

Originally the Grade 1 stakes race was run at 1 & 1/2 miles. It maintained this distance until 1891 when it was changed to 1 & 1/4 miles. From 1896 on-words the race experienced a number of changes from 1 & 1/16 miles, to 1 & 1/8 miles and back again. In 1982 the race was set at 1 & 1/8 miles and has remained that distance since.

The Kentucky Oaks is a counterpart to the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, alongside the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and the Acorn Stakes.

Notable entries of The Kentucky Oaks include Rachel Alexandra, Silverbulletday, Davona Dale and Dark Mirage.



Kentucky Oaks – Race Records

Scroll over any box below to view the historical records for the Kentucky Oaks:

Speed record

Bird Town - 2003

Most Wins by a Jockey

Eddie Arcaro (1951, 1952, 1953, 1958) & Manuel Ycaza (1959, 1960, 1963, 1968)

Most Wins by a Trainer

Woody Stephens (1959, 1960, 1963, 1978, 1981)

Most Wins by an Owner

Calumet Farm (1943, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1979)

Historical Results for the Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks has featured dozens of notable entries and winners. In the table below, view a record of the past winners, including trainers, thoroughbreds, jockeys, and times for every Kentucky Oaks race.

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Rosie Napravnik
Steve Asmussen
Winchell Thoroughbreds
Princess of Sylmar
Mike E. Smith
Todd Pletcher
King of Prussia Stables
Believe You Can
Rosie Napravnik
J. Larry Jones
Brereton C. Jones
Plum Pretty
Martin Garcia
Bob Baffert
Peachtree Stable
Blind Luck
Rafael Bejarano
Jerry Hollendorfer
Rachel Alexandra
Calvin Borel
Hal R. Wiggins
D. Morrison/M. Lauffer
Proud Spell
Gabriel Saez
J. Larry Jones
Brereton C. Jones
Rags to Riches
Garrett Gomez
Todd Pletcher
Lemons Forever
Mark Guidry
Dallas Stewart
L. Willis/T. Horton/Stewart
Jerry Bailey
Steve Asmussen
Winchell Thoroughbreds