The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier and most lucrative race for 3-year old fillies – female horses – held each year on the day before the Kentucky Derby. This feature race is a $1 Million Grade 1 stakes race and awards the winning filly a garland of lilies, appropriately named “lilies for the fillies.”
Like the Kentucky Derby, the Longines Kentucky Oaks race is one of the longest continually held sporting events in American history, and one of the only horse races to take place at the original site of its inception. The race was established on May 19th, 1875, by the same founder of the Kentucky Derby, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, and is modeled after the British Epsom Oaks.
Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs is the fourth highest attended horse race in the United States – following the Triple Crown of racing; the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Aside from thunderous live horse racing, fans celebrate fashion and fundraising for critical women’s health.
During Kentucky Oaks Day, the historic racetrack is decorated in pink bunting and the more than 100,000 guests are asked to prominently incorporate pink into their attire in an effort to raise funds and drive national attention to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.
Churchill Downs has partnered with Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Bright Pink’s innovative programs equip, educate, and empower young women to be proactive by reducing their risk or detecting these diseases at early, non life-threatening stages.
Through this partnership, Churchill Downs will donate $50,000 to Bright Pink, to be used towards the education, support, and empowerment of young women nationwide in prevention of breast and ovarian cancer. Churchill Downs invites Kentucky Oaks fans, like you, to donate, too! In addition to the online donations accepted here, donation stations will be located throughout the Churchill Down facility on Kentucky Oaks Day, so you can make a cash or check donation to Bright Pink and receive a pink ribbon to accessorize your Kentucky Oaks attire!
Furthermore, Churchill Downs will continue to support the mission of Horses & Hope, which is a regional organization that increases breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referrals among Kentucky horse industry workers and their families. Churchill Downs will donate $30,000 to Horses and Hope in addition to $1 for the sale of each Oaks Lily, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks.
The 143rd Kentucky Derby marked by the victory of Always Dreaming
As the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Triple Crown, Longines was proud to be an integral part of the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby and support America’s greatest race. Following Always Dreaming’s superb victory in this legendary race, the Swiss watch brand Longines ceremoniously awarded owner, trainer and jockey with elegant watches. Always Dreaming, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, raced to victory, outrunning Looking At Lee in second place and Battle of Midway in third, after an exhilarating race. Earlier that day, the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile presented by Longines was claimed by Roca Rojo, ahead of Believe in Bertie and Linda.
On the occasion of the Kentucky Derby weekend, Longines presented a model from The Longines DolceVita Collection, a line inspired by the Italian sweet life exuding contemporary elegance and femininity. Cased in steel and rose gold and decorated with diamonds, this timepiece displays a silver-coloured “flinqué” dial adorned with painted Roman numerals and is mounted a stainless steel bracelet.
For the gents, the Official Watch is the Conquest 1/100th Horse Racing, paying homage to all those passionate about flat racing and Longines’ rich tradition in sports timekeeping. The first traces of the involvement of Longines in equestrian sport, and especially in horse racing, dates back to 1878. It was at this time that the brand produced one of its most emblematic items, a chronograph engraved with the image of a jockey and his mount, which allowed performances to be timed to the second.