Oaklawn Park Racetrack
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Oklawn Park Racetrack
Oaklawn Racing & Gaming opened on February 24th, 1905. It is currently owned by the Oaklawn Jockey Club. The venue hosts a variety of Thoroughbred racing events and is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is universally considered one of the best tracks in the country.
2018 Oaklawn Racing & Gaming Season
The 2018 season at Oaklawn Park will run from Friday, January 12th through Saturday, April 14th. Typical race days are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are some special events planned for Monday, January 15th and Monday, February 19th as well. Though formally branded as Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, the facility is most often referred to as Oaklawn Park.
Major 2018 Oaklawn Events
Apple Blossom Handicap
Count Fleet Sprint Handicap
Smarty Jones Stakes
Friday, January 12th –Fifth Season
Monday, January 15th – Smarty Jones
Saturday, February 17th – Bayakoa Stakes
Monday, February 19th – Razorback Handicap, Southwest
Saturday, March 10th – Honeybee Stakes, Hot Springs Stakes
Saturday, March 17th – Rebel Stakes, Azeri Stakes, Essex Handicap
Friday, April 14th - Apple Blossom Handicap, Fantasy Stakes
Saturday, April 15th – Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, Oaklawn Handicap, Arkansas Derby
Currently, Oaklawn Park hosts two grade-I races. The Arkansas Derby is limited to three-year-old colts and serves as one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby. Oaklawn Park also hosts the Apple Blossom Handicap, a contest limited to fillies and mares ages four and up. Below is a list of some of the more well known races at Oaklawn Park.
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
About Oaklawn Racing & Gaming
Since first opening its doors in 1905, Oaklawn has gone through a variety of upgrades and changes. Like most tracks in the country, it has endured with the economic times suffering during times like World War II and The Great Depression, while thriving under normal circumstances.
Oaklawn has recently been credited as one of the top-10 racing tracks in the United States.
The clubhouse at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming was designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, who is the same architect responsible for both Old Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field. The casino was added in 2008 thanks to a $3M addition and was instantly the largest facility of its kind in Arkansas. Unlike most facilities, Oaklawn Racing & Gaming does not have a turf track.
Oaklawn celebrated it’s 100th anniversary by offering a $5 million bonus to any horse that could sweep the Rebel, Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby. Smarty Jones managed to accomplish this feat, and has since had the Smarty Jones Stakes named in his honour since 2008.
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.
Oaklawn Park Information for 2014
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!.
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