The night before the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs plays host to America’s premier and most lucrative race for 3-year old fillies — the Kentucky Oaks Race. This race, although not often talked about in the mainstream media, is the fourth highest attended horse race in the United States and the most prestigious race for female horses in the country.
Like the Derby, the Oaks Race is one of the longest continually held sporting events in American history. In fact, it was established in 1875 by the same founder of the Kentucky Derby, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark. While the Kentucky Derby is known for the spectacle that surrounds it, the Oaks Race is known for the cause it supports. On Oaks Day, the racetrack is decorated in pink bunting and over 100,000 guests are asked to wear pink in an effort to raise money and drive national attention to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer. The event includes a Survivors Parade – a march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors that takes place on Churchill Downs’ historic racetrack prior to the running of theOaks race itself.
The “Pink Out” has raised more than $820,000 for charity in the past eight years and has a special meaning for all involved.