The Kentucky Oaks has been part of the Churchill Downs racing tradition for 137 years. Over the years, it has developed its own traditions separate from its sister race, the Kentucky Derby. Among those traditions is the official color of the Kentucky Oaks, pink.

The color was chosen to honor its partner charities Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Horses and Hope. The color honors the official flower of the Oaks, the stargazer lily, and the official color for breast cancer awareness. So, Churchill Downs asks everyone to “think Pink” as they dress for the occasion.

Like many “high class” horse races, fashion is a key part of the day. The Kentucky Oaks is no exception. May 6th is a day for frills, lace, and the best in pink fashion. Hats have been the traditional highlight of the most fashionable in attendance at the Oaks, but hair accessories and headbands are also stylish for the day.

Each year at the Oaks many participate in the Chambord Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest. The contest features participants of all ages who dress in their most fashionable pink attire. The winner receives a VIP trip to the IMGs 2011 fall Fashion Week in New York City.

The competition is held at the Aristides Garden at 2:15 pm EDT between races 7 and 8. Coverage of the Fashion Contest will appear on NBC.