Kentucky Derby Experience – The Oaks

Photo courtesy of

"The greatest two minutes in sports"
is really the greatest two DAYS in sports!

Although Derby Day is the quintessential racing experience,
for many locals like myself,


which is the day before the Derby,
is the preferred time to visit the track.

It’s the perfect way to take in the sights and sounds of Churchill Downs
without the crazy crowds that come on Derby Day.
And what fun to enjoy it all with my girlfriends!

Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs

 I really love coming on Oaks Day for


In support of Churchill Downs partnership with Bright Pink and Horses & Hope,
everyone at the track is encouraged to wear pink.
This is such a great way to bring attention to early detection of breast and ovarian cancer!
Even the horses and jockeys get in the act.
Did you notice the pink draped clubhouse?

 Photo courtesy of

Everything is "in the pink".
The official flower of the Oaks is the
Pink Stargazer Lilly,
which is woven into a blanket that is draped on the winning horse.
And the official drink for the day is the "Lilly"!
"Personal note:  I’ve tried it but I’m still more of a Mint Julep fan"

Photo by Joan Waddell

One special treat is getting access to the Paddock.
This is where they parade the horses for the upcoming race.
It’s a chance for trainers, owners, and a few spectators
to see the horses up close and personal.
It’s a spectacular sight to see these beautiful animals and their riders
all dressed up in their colorful silks!

And the celebrity sightings are just as exciting.
I caught this shot of Bob Baffert (second from the right with the yellow tie)
as he was checking out the horses.

Sometimes the colorful attire outshines the jockey silks!
I couldn’t resist this one.

My outfit seemed so demure in comparison…
But I just had to get this shot in the stall of a horse named
Isn’t that great!

Photo by Joan Waddell

After the horses parade around the Paddock,
they make their way through the tunnel to the track.
This is the vantage point we had from our box seats.
I love the "pink" dressed horse and rider awaiting the arrival of the thoroughbreds.

 Photo by Joan Waddell

Isn’t this crazy! Even the tractor was pink!

Awesome view from our box!

Photo courtesy of

What could have been more appropriate than for
this fantastic jockey, Rosie Napravnik, to win the Oaks.
After all, this was a day to celebrate women and fillies!

And thank God for a different kind of "horse power".
This great guy pedaled all three of us back to our car in style!




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