People all over the world know my hometown, Louisville, as home of the Kentucky Derby. What fewer people know is that on the day before the Derby, the Kentucky Oaks takes place at Churchill Downs. It's a race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies. The Oaks is considered more of a local event, leaving the Derby for out-of-towners and movie stars. You can still wear a wide-brimmed hat, still drink a mint julep, still bet on a day-full of races, and even party in the in-field. It is all just a bit tamer, a bit saner.
While Churchill Downs is the official sponsor of the Kentucky Oaks, they are happening at Farm Dover as well. You see, my friend Lynn brought me a handful of acorns from a Garden Club of America meeting. I stored them in little plastic bags of potting soil in the back of our refrigerator all winter. Today, I planted them in 4-inch pots and placed my bets that they will grow into true winners of some mighty oaks: Chinkapin, English, Northern Red, and Swamp White.
And so, these Kentucky Oaks are off!