Kentucky Oaks doubles purse to $1 million

The fillies who run in the Kentucky Oaks are getting a

raise.

Churchill Downs announced Friday the purse for the 2011 Oaks

will be $1 million. That’s double the purse offered for the runners

in last year’s race.

The filly version of the Kentucky Derby has forged an identity

of its own in recent years behind the superstar performances of

2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and 2007 Belmont Stakes

winner Rags to Riches.

The Oaks will be run on May 6, 2011, the day before the Run for

the Roses.

Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery said the rise in the

Oaks purse reflects the growing status of the race. Over 110,000

turned out to watch Blind Luck win the Oaks last spring.

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