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Articles

Kentucky Oaks


2019/06/17


Jose Ortiz Riding Serengeti Empress Wins the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, in Victory Timed by Official Timekeeper Longines (Diane Bondareff / AP Images for Longines)

Jose Ortiz Riding Serengeti Empress Wins the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, in Victory Timed by Official Timekeeper Longines (Diane Bondareff / AP Images for Longines)
Serengeti Empress took the lead soon after the start of Friday’s (May 3, 2019) 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and never looked back en route to scoring under jockey Jose Ortiz.

It was not a good race for Positive Spirit, who fell just out of the starting gate. According to USA Today and video of the race, “The filly, running out of the No. 6 post, was squeezed between Flor de La Mar and Jaywalk in posts No. 5 and No. 7, then clipped heels with Jaywalk. Positive Spirit dramatically stumbled to the dirt track, but got back on her feet.

“Jockey Manny Franco fell off of the horse. Neither the horse nor jockey was seriously injured in the fall, according to veterinarian Alan Ruggles of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Ruggles said Positive Spirit, trained by Rodolphe Brissett, might have suffered a soft tissue injury and skin lacerations, but she was able to walk back to the barn without difficulty.”

The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America’s most lucrative race for 3-year old fillies – 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.

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