Tips for Hosting an Amazing Kentucky Oaks Party

PinkLily-300x300Two of the most important days of the year to a racing fan are Kentucky Oaks Friday and Kentucky Derby Saturday. And while it’s everyone’s dream to attend and be part of the festivities at Churchill Downs under the Twin Spires, the next best thing is to plan some amazing parties. While Derby Day itself should always take the most attention, there’s no reason why the Oaks can’t provide a nice warmup to the main event.

Pink is the signature color of the Kentucky Oaks and lilies are the official Oaks flower. Fortunately they’re in season this time of year and most grocery stores are littered with fresh lilies. If not, almost any local craft store carries the silk variety. Lilies come in various colors from pink to lavender to white and all are beautiful, so mixing and blending the colors for centerpieces and table decorations can be fun.

The easiest centerpieces and table decorations can be achieved with minimal expense using plain goldfish bowls, some decorative rock and…

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Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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