Each year, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby–one of the most prestigious tests for 3-year-old colts in Thoroughbred racing, Churchill Downs plays host to the Kentucky Oaks, an equally glorious competition for 3-year-old fillies. Today is that day, the First Friday in May. And while there are endless reasons to talk about the race card and the horses, there’s no denying that a race day like Oaks Day brings out the style maven in a good many ladies at the track.
Taking advantage of the strong female presence on the track, Oaks day has become an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer and to honor survivors with an annual Survivors Parade. Racing fans also show their support by wearing pink and sipping on the traditional Kentucky Oaks cocktail, the Oaks Lily (a portion of the proceeds from sales of the Oaks Lily is donated to breast cancer research, so consider it drinking for the cause).
While pink can sometimes seem a bit too girly for those of us no longer in our twenties, a classic style like this Valentino dress will adapt to just about any woman’s style.
And while you’re getting ready, you might very well get thirsty . . .
Here’s the recipe for the Kentucky Oaks official drink:
Kentucky Oaks Lily: