Racing returns to Hot Springs, Arkansas, with the opening of Oaklawn’s 2014 live meet Friday, January 10 and greeting fans will be some of the most competitive racing in the country, especially in the three-year-old ranks.
Overall, the 57-day meet will offer more than $20 million in purses and 31 stakes, highlighted by the 78th running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby April 12.
The opening day headliner is the $100,000 Dixie Belle S., a six-furlong tussle for sophomore fillies. Among the likely favorites is More Than Beauty, an allowance winner at Churchill Downs last September for trainer Cecil Borel. The stakes-placed filly is a daughter of Brown Eyed Beauty, who captured the 2003 Spring Fever at Oaklawn.
2014 Oaklawn Racing Schedule Highlights
Oaklawn’s three-year-old stakes program is one of the most successful in the nation and last year, it produced likely champion three-year-old Will Take Charge and Oxbow, whose victory in the Preakness was the 10th Triple Crown race won by an Oaklawn-raced horse in 10 years. The four-race program offers 289 points based on the qualifying method for the Kentucky Derby and these race days also help anchor some of Oaklawn’s most popular promotions.
The series starts January 20 with a special holiday card that features the $150,000 Smarty Jones and a free baseball cap giveaway with paid admission. It continues February 17 with a President’s Day card that includes the $300,000 Southwest and $55,000 Progressive Cash Giveaway.
Next to Arkansas Derby Day, the most anticipated day during the Oaklawn meet is Rebel Stakes Day, March 15. In addition to this $600,000 race for aspiring sophomores, the card now includes the $200,000 Razorback Handicap and $200,000 Azeri, and one lucky fan will walk away with a new boat and truck, courtesy of Bradford Marine.
For the complete 2014 Oaklawn park horse racing calendar, click here.
2014 Oaklawn Meet Information
Oaklawn horse racing dates: January 10 – April 12
Oaklawn horse racing schedule: Oaklawn will open for the 2014 live racing season Friday, Jan. 10 and the 57-day meet will continue every Thursday – Sunday through Saturday, April 12. Oaklawn will also have live racing on Monday, January 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Monday, February 17, President’s Day.
Oaklawn horse racing post times: Post times will be 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and Sundays and 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Some exceptions are Opening Day, January 10; Super Bowl Sunday, February 2; and the two holiday Mondays, January 20 and February 17, when first post is 1 p.m.
Oaklawn horse racing wagering information: In addition to presenting a strong racing program, Oaklawn also offers a variety of wagering options, including rolling Pick 3s, an early Pick 4 and superfectas on every race.
Bet 2014 Oaklawn Park horse racing online with TwinSpires.com and watch it live on TwinSpiresTV!.
Oaklawn Park Racetrack Information
Main track (dirt): 1 mile, oval
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 1,155 feet
Width of stretch: 70 feet
Width of turns: 80 feet
Composition: 2″ sandy loam cushion, 3″ sandy loam cushion compacted, 10″ sand / silt, 30″ clay and natural soil
2014 Oaklawn Special Events
Friday, Jan. 10: Opening Day
Monday, Jan. 20: $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes
Monday, Feb. 17: $300,000 Southwest Stakes
Saturday, March 15: $600,000 Rebel Stakes Day
April 5 – April 12: Racing Festival of the South
About Oaklawn Park Racetrack
On February 24, 1905, Oaklawn presented its first racing card before a crowd of 3,000 that turned out after Hot Springs Mayor John Belding declared a half-day holiday for the city. The first race at the new track was won by Duelist, owned by John W. Schorr, a prominent Memphis sportsman, and since that time, Oaklawn has evolved into one of the premier race meets in the country. Best known as the home of the Racing Festival of the South and Arkansas Derby, the track has played host to some of the biggest names in the sport including champions Temperence Hill, Cigar, Curlin, Paseana, Azeri, Tiffany Lass, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin At Lucky, Blind Luck and Zenyatta
Between 1907 and 1916, Oaklawn Park faced some hardships as races were commonly cancelled because of the political problems in the state. The owners and bettors of Oaklawn would come to understand that political problems would continue to affect the track for the next 20 years.
By 1941, the total purse skyrocketed to $156,820 and was distributed in purses during the 30-day season, Feb. 24-March 29. Purse distribution continued to soar and in 1946 the track recorded a high of $283,180.
From 1951-75, many additions were made to Oaklawn’s already impressive track record. A new parking lot was built to hold 800 vehicles and steam heat was installed in all of the private boxes in the paddock to better suit the track’s elite clientele. Less than three years later an amazing dining room was added to the clubhouse and the main track was re-cushioned to allow for a more stable and breathable foundation.
In 1985, Oaklawn experienced its first year of reverse statistics. Wagering dropped by 8.1% and attendance dipped below 3.7% in comparison to 1984. Oaklawn Park Racetrack has seen its share of amazing and heart-stopping races. With the addition of “Instant Racing” – a pari-mutuel electronic system that allows players to wager on previously run races – Oaklawn Park ventured into the electronic gaming world and its offering was well received by visitors from around the world.
Past Oaklawn Park Meet Information