There are many great stakes races during Derby week at Churchill Downs but one of the best has got to be the Kentucky Oaks. The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year. The winner gets a large garland of lilies, affectionately called the “Lilies for the Fillies”.
Despite the increasing number of out-of-state visitors who come to the Derby week in Louisville every year, the “Oaks” (as local residents refer to it) has tried to remain a local day. Locals feel it is “their Derby”. Large crowds of locals attend the Oaks annually and the infield of the race track hosts numerous musical attractions, boardwalk games, and food and alcoholic beverage vendors. Bringing in one’s own alcohol is forbidden at Churchill Downs and many locals revel in finding ingenious ways to smuggle in their own libations, rather than pay the inflated prices inside Churchill Downs. Many Kentucky Derby Tours members have mentioned the numerous ways they show on TV that people sneak in liquor to both the Oaks and Derby. Surprisingly on Oaks Day, most every school and quite a few businesses in the Louisville area are closed on Oaks Day. None of the region’s schools declare that the holiday is explicitly because of the Oaks and most just say it is an “administrative holiday.”
The Oaks is limited to 14 starters by graded stakes earnings (we certainly have heard much about them this year). There will be 4 “also eligibles”, which means that if any of the Top fourteen horses in graded stakes earnings that are entered in the Oaks drop out – an “also eligible” horse can go in place of that horse.
The Oaks has always been a great race and here are this year’s contenders.
Rank Horse Graded Stakes Earnings Owner(s) Trainer
1. Grace Hall $740,000 Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group Tony Dutrow
2. Believe You Can $369,734 Brereton C. Jones Larry Jones
3. Karlovy Vary $301,694 Alex G. Campbell Jr. Rusty Arnold
4. On Fire Baby $286,729 Anita Cauley Gary Hartlage
5. Broadway’s Alibi $270,000 E. Paul Robsham Stable LLC Todd Pletcher
6. Yara $269,000 Peras International Jose Garoffalo
7. Summer Applause $220,000 Gillian Campbell, R Group Management Ltd. & Greenwood Lodge Farm Bret Calhoun
8. Eden’s Moon $186,000 Kaleem Shah Inc. Bob Baffert
9. Mamma Kimbo $180,000 Peachtree Stable Bob Baffert
10. Hard Not to Like $135,112 Hillsbrook Farms Gail Cox
11. Amie’s Dini $85,000 Mike D. Walker Ron Moquett
12. In Lingerie $60,140 Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber Todd Pletcher
13. And Why Not $58,253 Helen K. Groves Michael Matz
14. Jemima’s Pearl $30,000 Gillian Campbell, R Group Management, Ltd. & Greenwood Lodge Farm Bob Baffert
15. Colonial Empress $22,500 Bluegrass Hall, LLC D. Wayne Lukas
16. Oaks Lily $0 Jonathan Rey, Javier Sarmiento and Dante Zanelli Jr. Timothy Hills
Tags: 2012 Kentucky Oaks, also eligibles, Amie's Dini, And Why Not, Believe You Can, Bob Baffert, Broadway's Alibi, Chuchill Downs, Churchill Downs, Colonial Empress, D. Wayne Lukas, Eden's Moon, Grace Hall, Graded Stakes earnings, Hard Not to Like, In Lingerie, Jemima's Pearl, Karlovy Vary, Kentucky Derby Tours, Larry Jones, Lilies for the Fillies, Louisville, Mamma Kimbo, Michael Matz, Oaks Lily, On Fire Baby, Summer Applause, Todd Pletcher, Yara