Kentucky Oaks doubles purse to $1 million

Published Jan. 14, 2011 5:28 p.m. ET

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.