The running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks dates back to the earliest days of Churchill Downs, and the first running was held May 19, 1875. Check out our Oaks History page for more details on the history of the event. The Oaks is for three-year-old fillies and is a Grade I stakes race with a total purse of $1,000,000. The purse is comprised of the stakes or fees that the owners must pay to compete as well as an additional amount provided by Churchill Downs. The winner of the Oaks takes home $500,000 with the 4 finishers splitting up the remaining amount. The winner is also presented with a large garland of lilies called the “Lilies for Fillies” and the silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy. The race was once viewed as the lead-in race to the Kentucky Derby. However that perception has changed as the Oaks has become almost as popular as the Derby. Attendance at the Kentucky Oaks is usually second only to the Derby, surpassing attendance at the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders Cup.
The Oaks is also known as “Ladies Day” as the race is restricted to fillies only. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink and to drink the signature cocktail “The Oaks Lilly”. There’s also the much anticipated Longines Oaks Fashion Contest that pits the most fashionable attendees against each other to see who has the frilliest, most feminine and pink ensemble. Many Louisville residents refer to the Kentucky Oaks as their Derby day. Locals attend the race on Friday, but then host Kentucky Derby parties at their own homes on Saturday. This allows them to enjoy the great horse racing live, but then avoid the crowds on Saturday when so many visitors arrive for the Kentucky Derby. Take a look at our Kentucky Oaks Experience page for more details on the event. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for Kentucky Oaks tickets.
2016 Kentucky Oaks Preview
The 2016 Kentucky Oaks will take the track at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 6th, 2016. The world’s top 3 year old fillies will race for the chance to wear the iconic garland of lilies, or lilies for the fillies as it is affectionately known. The Kentucky Oaks always takes place a day before the Kentucky Derby, and 2016 will mark the 142nd running of the Kentucky Oaks. The favorite to bring home the 2016 Kentucky Oaks is Songbird, who has destroyed her competition this and is looking for her biggest win to date. The Kentucky Oaks has long been an unforgettable event, and is a more relaxed way to enjoy all that Churchill Downs as to offer.
Check out our Oaks Winners page for a detailed list of all previous winners including their time and the jockey that rode them to victory.
Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs Address: 700 Central Ave. Louisville, Kentucky, 40208
Chruchill Downs is located in south Louisville west of Churchill park at interstate 65. Churchill Downs usually seats 50,000 however; crowds during the oaks can exceed 100,000 as additional seating areas are opened to accommodate the event. New to the event in 2014 is a new high-definition screen which will sit on the backstretch the outside of the track and face the grandstand and infield. Officials claim it will be the largest high-definition video screen ever constructed.
Infield General Admission
The area provides a fun large-party atmosphere and is an inexpensive way to attend the event but not the best views of the race. The Infield Club provide access to a VIP lounge area that features cocktail service, half-price menu items, large screen TV’s and monitors at each table along with private betting window and executive bathrooms.
Comprised of sections 119-128 (Grandstand Terrance), 221-225 (Grandstand Mezzanine), and 322-325 (3rd Floor Grandstand) and are divided into three levels. The Grandstand Terrance level is closest to the track. The better seats in these sections are closer to the finish line and are the lower number sections (119, 221, 322).
The Clubhouse Levels
Comprised of sections 110-119 (1st Floor Clubhouse) 212, 218, 220 (2nd Floor Clubhouse) and 312-321 (3rd Floor Clubhouse). The Clubhouse level tickets are a great place to sit close to the finish line. The 1st Floor Clubhouse tickets get you closest to the track and the action but the 3rd Floor Clubhouse Level tickets provide the best view of the action, is covered and provided box seats. The sections closest to the finish line are 116,117,118, 218, 316, 317 and 318. The best seats for the Oaks here are in section 316, without a doubt.
There is a large selection of suites at Churchill downs, TicketCity offers tickets and can help ensure you have ultimate Kentucky Oaks experience. We offer tickets for the Jockey Club Suites, 5th Floor Finish Line Suites, Interior Premium Boxes and the Matt Winn Room (reserved tables). Suites can fit about 24 people and come with full catering, private wagering and balconies that provide a perfect view of the action.
Millionaires Row & Skye Terrace
Millionaires Row (4th Floor & 6th Floor) provide a luxurious and celebrity-filled Kentucky Oaks experience. A table here provides a great vantage point to watch the races via personal monitors or from the 4 tiered balcony. The Skye Terrance is adjacent to Millionaires row and offers the same amenities but a more traditional experience.
Every year TicketCity has a local presence at the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby to assist our clients with ticket pickup and additional purchases. As the weekends' events draw near, our sales associates are available for personal assistance as needed.
Kentucky Oaks Event Guide
What time do the gates at Churchill Downs for the Longines Kentucky Oaks?
Churchill Downs open the gates for the day at 8am EST. The post time for the first race at 10:30a EST.
Is there a dress code at Churchill Downs?
There are some restrictions in a few areas. Sneakers, athletic apparel, denim/jeans or shorts are not permitted in the Trophy Room, Turf Club, Finish Line Suites, Jocky Club Suites, Aristides Room, Stakes Room, Turf Suites, Section 111 Trophy Suites, Trackside Village or in Millionaires Row. Additionally, worn/torn/frayed garments, collarless shirts, tank tops and bare midriff are never allowed in any reserved seating areas. The infield areas are much more casual with jeans, shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts and casual dresses all being acceptable.
How can I buy cheap Kentucky Oaks tickets?
TicketCity offers a huge selection of Kentucky Oaks tickets that include some of the most competitively priced tickets on the market. Kentucky Oaks ticket prices fluctuate based on the demand. When there are well-known horses in the race or horses expected to compete at a high level, ticket prices will increase. The opposite might occur if there are not as many popular horses participating in the race, giving the chance to get cheap tickets. Infield general admission tickets are a great chance to experience the event in a more relaxed atmosphere for a much lower price than other sections within Churchill Downs.