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The 150th Kentucky Oaks, the second biggest day of racing at Churchill Downs, is finally here. And today is all about the ladies.

The Oaks, sponsored by Longines, is a $1.5 Million Grade 1 stakes race for 3-year-old fillies, and the winner is draped with a garland of lilies. 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, according to

One of the most memorable parts of Oaks Day, always held the Friday before the Kentucky Derby, is the Survivors Parade, now in its 16th year, which celebrates breast and ovarian cancer survivors and encourages those still fighting as they march on the historic racetrack before the Longines Kentucky Oaks. The day also features the popular Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest, where anyone can sign up to strut their stuff on the (pink!) carpet.

And the Courier Journal will be there for all the action. Our reporters will be covering a variety of undercard races, plus all the fashion, food, fun and entertainment taking place at the historic racetrack. Follow along for live updates and check back often for everything Kentucky Oaks.

After 13 races, one garland of lilies and the consumption of countless Woodford Spires and Oaks Lilies, the 150th Kentucky Oaks Day has come to an end.

Thorpedo Anna is the Kentucky Oaks Champion. But aren’t we all the winners?

Now the focus turns to parties — lots of parties — and all the celebrities that will make a Louisville appearance.

Keep up to date with all the part action at our live party blog here.

Even after a week of all-day Kentucky Derby events – from 502’sDay to Oaks – Laura Troutt, Steve Berry, Kendall Wilson and Mike Berry remained in their box seats as rain fell to watch the 150th Kentucky Oaks.

“We love the races,” Mike said, at the same time Laura said, “We love the horses!”

Donning ponchos over their suits and dresses, the Louisville locals sat in the box seats they bought just two months ago in high spirits. Even Kendall, who is 17 weeks pregnant, proclaimed Derby as “the best holiday EVER!” – despite being exhausted from attending events all week while carrying her daughter, Maci James.

“It’s (Maci’s) first Oaks!” Steve said, smiling.

The group will not return Saturday, though. Instead, they are dedicating tomorrow to rest and recovery.

As fans made their exodus from the stands following the marquee race on Oaks Day, the skies opened up more than they had all day, soaking spectators making their way to the exits.

Those who came prepared with ponchos donned them, although not everyone was so lucky, with fans seeking shelter where they could find it along the sides of Churchill Downs’s outdoor concourses.

James Richey, from southern Indiana, was making his way to the exits through a tunnel from the infield with his wife.

“I’m all about it!” he said of the rain.

He added: “That’s Kentuckiana, we know how it is, man.”

He and his wife had ponchos and avoided getting totally soaked in their infield bleacher seats.

Twelve minutes before the last race of the day, there was only a handful of people left in the infield bleachers, which have no shelter from the elements.

Thorpedo Anna won The Oaks race during the 150th Derby celebration at Churchill Downs Friday.

She was ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., a Louisiana native who comes from a family of jockeys. He has been racing since age 12.

5:20 p.m.: Who buys a $5,000 mint julep at the Kentucky Derby?

For years, the Kentucky Derby has gained attention for selling $1,000 — and $5,000 — mint juleps to raise money for charity.

Mid-afternoon on Oaks Day, several people could be seen inside the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience on Churchill Downs’s concourse.

Jason Molnoskey, of Houston, Texas, walked out of the Derby experience with several of the prized cups in bagged boxes while his wife, Courtney, sipped a $1,000 julep out of a silver cup.

“So what we do is, we have one lady who brings a big group of people here from Houston and San Antonio. And we charter a flight, she brings about 50 of her closest friends,” said Molnoskey, who runs a construction company. “The first year we did it, we bought her a gold one, that’s a $5,000 cup. And so we do it every year now and this year we just have more people doing it…that’s why we do it: to thank her and let everyone have a fun experience.”

Molnoskey said their Derby host was Shannon Ralston, who runs Angel Staffing, a San Antionio-based health care staffing firm.

Money from the cups goes to support the Backside Learning Center, a non-profit that provides resources for the diverse group of workers in the warren of stables south of the track.

This year, Woodford Reserve is offering 200 silver cups and 100 gold cups. Both feature a crystal-encrusted depiction of Churchill Downs’s iconic twin spires.

Does a $1,000, rose-garnished julep taste better than a $22 one offered in the infield (or complimentary one on the front-side of the track)?

“Oh my gosh, it’s like heaven,” said Courtney Molnoskey.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said their friend, Karen Lawless, who works in oil and gas and had a $1,000 julep of her own. 

Covington residents Julie and Kurt Keeney called the 150th Kentucky Derby the “biggest event of our year.” They were here with about 90 of their friends and excited to be sitting in the First Turn Suites, which debuted in 2023.

“We wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Kurt said. “Julie has been treating it like it’s a holy day.”

Julie was wearing on a stunning floral hat that had come all the way from London, from a milliner who had previously made hats for the Queen.

Chandler Parsons said in an interview Friday that his friend, Travis Kelce, would be attending the 150th Kentucky Derby and was set to arrive this afternoon.

Here’s what we know about Kelce’s trip to Louisville and the prospects of his girlfriend Taylor Swift joining him.

Members of the Navy arrived at Churchill Downs Friday to “guard the rails” during the races to keep attendees safe. Lecota Barrientos and other members of the armed forces were also on the field during the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade, which celebrates breast and ovarian cancer survivors.

“You can feel the horses as they go by which is very interesting,” she said about standing out in the field. “You can feel the vibrations of the ground.”

It was the first time Barrientos, a Louisville resident, had ever been to the Derby. She has loved looking at the expressions of creativity people have put into their outfits — like a woman who had handmade her own dress adorned with roses.

“It’s so gorgeous,” Barrientos said.

Over the years, Churchill Downs has phased in small, stackable plastic tumblers in addition to  the iconic glass Mint Julep Kentucky Derby glasses and the Oak Lily stemless wine glasses. This year, too, in honor of the 150th runnings of the races for the glasses used at the track have gold writing and are different than what you would see in retail stores.But the sure-to-become collectibles were not easy to find around the track. Even more high-end parts of the track, such as the First Turn Suites, had the plastic tumblers instead of the glass.Racegoers had to search for them, and it wasn’t uncommon to hear people say “where did you find that” to spectators, who had just happened to stumble upon them. (Spoiler: There are some in the Woodford Reserve Paddock Plaza.)

Gregorio Banuelos is impossible to miss in the sea of people maneuvering through Churchill Downs’ concourse — even amid all the other over-the-top outfits.

On Oaks Day, the 64-year-old with a handlebar moustache was wearing a flashy white suit jacket with the words “Mexican Elvis” on the back. Black and gold streamers trail behind his jacket’s arms.

His hat, which, like his suit jacket, had a gold-colored watch affixed to it, was in the color of the Mexican tricolor flag — green, white and red — and featured an eagle and feathers on top of it.

“I worked 35 years, day and night, to do what I’m doing right now,” said Banuelos, who is originally from the Mexican state of Jalisco and moved to Denver, Colorado, when he was 16 years old.

Baneulos, who owns a Mexican restaurant in Denver, said he is attending his second Derby. He would not say what he had picked out to wear for Derby tomorrow, but said it will outshine his Oaks Day outfit.

“It’s going to be a surprise, but you won’t miss me; it’s going to be colorful,” he said. “Tomorrow it’s going to be better.”

When John and Anjali Markey decided to attend their friend’s 50th birthday at the Derby, they weren’t sure they were going to like it. Still, the couple came prepared in matching green and pink polka dotted outfits.

After a couple of days at the track, the natives of Charlotte, North Carolina, are sold on the Louisville event. They’ve enjoyed the races with friends, won bets and have each found a drink they love: John with the mint julep, and Anjali with the Oaks Lily.

“If you have an opportunity to come, you should come,” John said.

Angela and Tony Schmidt, who were in town from Scott County, have seen a lot of changes over the past decade, since they first began attending the Kentucky Derby. They were soaking in the view from the upper deck of the new $200 million Paddock Friday afternoon.

“It’s really beautiful. They did a tremendous job,” Tony Schmidt said, of the new $200 million Paddock.

They were thrilled to be at Churchill Downs for the 150th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, and they described it as a once in a lifetime experience.

“I just really love being here in the atmosphere,” Angela said. “This is just very Kentucky.”

The Kentucky Derby tweeted from its official X/Twitter account on Friday afternoon that the garland of lilies for the Kentucky Oaks winner arrived at Churchill Downs. The flowers were from Kroger.

In the infield, racegoers had little cover from light rain early Friday afternoon.

In contrast to the front-side of the track, the grass is largely overgrown, the crowd skews younger and the cocktails are $22 instead of complimentary.

Bill and Karen Buxton traveled to Louisville for their first Derby from Brighton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver and made sure to bring rain gear.

“The scenery, the people and the venue are great,” said Bill Buxton.

“We came prepared, but I wish the sun was shining,” said Karen.

After watching the Derby on TV for years, they decided to come this year, spending $700 on infield tickets spanning Derby and Oaks.

Sabrina McMiller, 36, was at her first Derby week race, coming down from Indianapolis, Indiana, and bringing a bright pink poncho to protect her from the rain.

Buying her infield ticket early, she only paid $70 to come to Oaks.

“I always heard about it,” she said about the Derby.

In race 5, she bet on Xigera, but lost, urging the horse on with “come on number six! Giddyup giddyup!” as the race played on the jumbo screen looming above the infield.

Also exposed to the elements — but accessible with all-inclusive tickets like the front-side of the track — the concessions area of the Infield Reserved Bleachers had patches of mud from Friday’s rain.

Mike Regan, 63, came to his first Derby with his two sons and a nephew this year from Andover, Mass., a town north of Boston.

“Outside the weather being somewhat overcast, it’s outstanding,” he said as he stood in the Infield Reserved Bleachers section with a cigar. “The venue is outstanding. The hospitality is outstanding.”

He’s going with Sierra Leone and Fierceness in the Derby.

Steve Velez of Austin, Texas, designed his own Kentucky Oaks Day hat in a steampunk style. Originally, he planned an entire steampunk Derby outfit, but “I got busy, and all I got was the hat,” he said.

Pink gears, a Fleur-de-lis and lights adorn the fedora. He added the pink bows, a symbol for breast cancer awareness, in honor of his sister who died from it several years ago.

Molly Cape was celebrating her birthday week at Churchill Downs on Friday. She and a group of friends had come for Thurby on her actual birthday, and she and her husband were having a date day at the track on Oaks Day. Tomorrow, for the 150th Kentucky Derby, they’re hosting a party at their Louisville home, complete with a bouncy house for the kids.

Having a May 2 birthday is very convenient for her hat collection, which has grown vivaciously over the past eight years since she first started coming to the track.

“That’s my splurge, but I don’t feel so guilty because it’s my birthday week,” Molly said, gesturing to an eye-catching teal hat, atop her head.

“I treat them like pieces of art,” she continued, noting that she displays all of them on mannequin heads in the office in her home. 

The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is celebrating the 150th year of the Kentucky Derby with a limited edition collector’s item. The factory, known for manufacturing nearly 2 million baseball bats per year, is producing 18-inch mini bats which are available in the museum’s gift shop.

The souvenir bat is painted light blue and features the words, “Jockey Silks” with three silks painted near the end of to honor the attire worn by jockeys in the Kentucky Derby.

The bats are available for $9.99 at the museum’s gift shop, 800 W. Main St.

Oaks attendees looking to get out of the wet weather Friday afternoon could do a whole lot worse than the Kentucky Derby Museum.

The hall inside Churchill Downs was full around lunchtime with members of the crowd dining on a lunch buffet, with a live band entertaining with Stevie Wonder covers inside the Affirmed Lounge. A silent auction with sports memorabilia was also taking place — bids for items such as a Miami Dolphins helmet signed by Dan Marino started at $1,250.

The museum honors the history of Churchill Downs, which opened more than a century ago, as well as past winners of the iconic Kentucky Derby. A statue of 2023 winner Mage, adorned with a garland of roses, currently greets attendees.

There was a buzz in the space as the crowd watched Idiomatic run to a win in the fifth race of the day. Race 11, the Kentucky Oaks, is set to start at 5:51 p.m.

The dirt track at Churchill Downs is soggy and puddles are everywhere, leading many patrons to exchange heels and loafers for boots — rain, cowboy, you name it — on Kentucky Oaks Day at the track.

Forget the mint julep. Today is all about this pink cocktail.

Around since 2006, the Oaks Lily is the official cocktail of Kentucky Oaks festivities. Its pink tone mimics the stargazer lilies draped over the winning horse. Click here to find out how to make one.

Dave Portnoy, founder and owner of Barstool Sports, helped popular podcast host Alex Cooper, who is set to later attend the Revel at the Races, make her “first ever bet” at Churchill Downs Friday.

Cooper’s podcast network, The Unwell Network, has partnered with Churchill Downs to host an exclusive infield activation for 150th Kentucky Derby. Alongside podcast host and social media star Alix Earle Cooper will take the stage in the illustrious infield from 10:30-11 a.m. Saturday for a discussion and question and answer segment about their Derby experience.

Tampa, Florida residents Gordon and Nancy Tunstall joined friends from Ohio and North Carolina for Derby 150. This is the couple’s “six or seventh” Derby since 1988.

When Gordon selected a gold accented suit for the event, painter Nancy knew she needed to add some pops of pink, the classic color of Oaks Day. So, armed with brushes, she painted both of their outfits herself.

“I wanted it to be pink,” she said, smiling and laughing.

Despite umbrellas of any size being prohibited inside Churchill Downs, Tera and Rod Tinney didn’t let the soggy weather dampen their spirits on Friday morning. It was her first Kentucky Derby week in Louisville and his third.

They’d come to the track in a matching suit and dress with the same horse printed fabric. Tera had a stunning cream hat in the shape of a large flower, and she smiled as she explained she didn’t bother with a trash bag or any sort of protective covering as she stepped into the track.

“It’s a flower,” she said. “So I just let the rain absorb into it.” Just like a real flower would.

History buffs Carrie and Jeff Ketterman arrived, donning French Rococo fashion from 1778, “in honor of the founding of the city of Louisville,” Jeff said.

The outfits took a little convincing from Carrie to wear this year, but the Kettermans are no stranger to eye catching Derby attire. Every year the locals attend, they appear in stunning outfits — from Titanic characters to Mary Poppins. For Derby Day, they plan to attend as Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. and his wife, Mary.

Geneva Barnes and Kermit Muhammad, a couple from Chicago, were in a radiant shade of tangerine orange amid a sea of pink on Kentucky Oaks Day. They were thrilled to be in Kentucky.

Geneva’s cousins were regulars to Kentucky Derby week, but this was the first time she’d been able to join them. The first race was just about 20 minutes away, as they were snapping photos in the Woodford Reserve Paddock Plaza beneath a drizzly sky.

This new festival-like environment debuted in 2023 as a way to welcome guests into the historic track and create a more Super Bowl-like experience at the Run for the Roses.

As of 10:03 a.m., Churchill Downs’ dirt track’s condition was listed as “sloppy.” What does that mean for Friday’s day of racing?

Kentucky Oaks 2024: Sloppy? Heavy? Here’s what track condition terms mean

Per, a “sloppy” track is defined as “a surface with some moisture in the base.” In horse racing forms, it’s abbreviated to “sly.” Going from “sloppy” to “muddy” track conditions is about saturation.

“Once the base is meaningfully wet,” reads, “a dirt track is labeled muddy.”

Rachael and Ben Snapp, newlyweds from Winchester, Virginia, were soaking in the vibes from the first Friday in May at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Oaks — but their minds were also filled with the gratitude of Christmas as they came up the elevators and into the 300 Section.

Rachael’s parents brought the her family to the 150th Kentucky Derby week as part of a Christmas gift. This was their second time at Derby, but first time at Oaks. Ben wore floral navy and pink pants to match Rachael’s navy and pink hat.

Worried about your hat? Kirby Adams shared these tips for protecting it from the rain:

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Derby hats in the rain: How to make it work

Here’s how to protect your hat in the rain.

Racing has started on Kentucky Oaks Day.

Sundance Feature took the first of 13 races scheduled for Friday at Churchill Downs.

The Secret Status race was 6-and-a-half furlongs with a purse of $120,000.  The track condition is currently listed as “sloppy.”

Sundance Feature, with Luis Saez aboard, was followed across the line by Thoughtful and Sally O’Malley.

According to the Kentucky Derby website, umbrellas of any size are prohibited at Churchill Downs. Instead, attendees seen at the venue have donned ponchos during today’s showers.

Find the list of what else is prohibited at the track here.

With rain continuing into Saturday, here’s a look at Kentucky Derby horses that have run in wet or sloppy conditions.

Because of the weather that has moved through the area, race officials have decided to move Race 4 to the dirt track from the turf track.

The other races scheduled for the turf track will be held as scheduled. Those stakes races are: Race 6: The Unbridled Sidney (14th running, Grade III), Race 8: The Modesty (67th running, Grade III), Race 10: The Edgewood (40th running, Grade II).

Due to the rain in the forecast, Derby organizers are reminding guests to check the list of items prohibited at Churchill Downs.

It could be a muddy day at Churchill Downs — and more rain is expected. NWS Louisville is predicting showers and thunderstorms today and throughout the weekend.

What to know about the 150th Kentucky Oaks

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