The Kentucky Oaks Schedule: This event is a pinnacle of horse racing for three-year-old fillies. This Grade I stakes race runs over a distance of 1 1/8 miles at the legendary Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Taking place the day before the Kentucky Derby, it’s not just a race; it’s a weekend of excitement and tradition.

Kentucky Oaks Schedule, Before the Race:

Gates Opening

  • 9:00 AM ET: Churchill Downs gates open to welcome guests.

Racing Begins

  • 10:30 AM ET: First post time, signaling the start of the day’s races.

Kentucky Oaks Undercard

  • 1:00 PM ET: The Undercard races begin, showcasing some of the best young talents.

Detail: The Kentucky Oaks Undercard features a series of races that set the stage for the main event. It’s a fantastic opportunity to witness stellar horses and soak in the electrifying atmosphere of Churchill Downs.

On the Day of Kentucky Oaks

Early Morning Gates Opening

  • 8:00 AM ET: Gates open for early arrivals.

Post Parade

  • 2:00 PM ET: The Kentucky Oaks Post Parade commences.

Detail: The Post Parade is a traditional procession of horses and jockeys participating in the Kentucky Oaks. This event provides a close-up look at the contenders and adds to the anticipation.

The Main Event – Kentucky Oaks Race

  • 5:51 PM ET: The Kentucky Oaks Race starts.

After the Race

Winner’s Circle Ceremony

  • 6:15 PM ET: The Kentucky Oaks Winner’s Circle Ceremony commences.

Detail: This is where the victor is crowned. The ceremony includes the trophy presentation, the awarding of the winner’s share of the purse, and interviews with the triumphant jockey and trainer.


  • 6:30 PM ET: The Kentucky Oaks Afterparty kicks off.

Detail: The afterparty is an exuberant celebration post-race. It’s the perfect setting to revel in the excitement of the Kentucky Oaks and mingle with fellow horse racing enthusiasts.

Wrapping it Up

The Kentucky Oaks is not just about the race; it’s a weekend of elegance, tradition, and, of course, thrilling horse racing. From the Undercard races to the festive afterparty, it’s an event that captures the imagination of horse racing fans worldwide.

Kentucky Oaks Schedule FAQs

What time do the gates open at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks?

The gates open at 9:00 AM ET on Friday, May 5, and 8:00 AM ET on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

When does the Kentucky Oaks race start?

The Kentucky Oaks race is scheduled to start at 5:51 PM ET on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

What events are included in the Kentucky Oaks Undercard?

The Kentucky Oaks Undercard includes a series of races featuring some of the best young horses in the country.