Efforts by Oaklawn Park to resume live racing were dealt a setback by more snow in Arkansas on the morning of Feb. 4 and the tack has canceled racing for Feb. 5-6. The $100,000 Essex Handicap, originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5 will now be run either Saturday, Feb. 12 or Sunday, Feb. 13.
Oaklawn had already canceled racing Thursday and Friday, Feb. 3-4, due to frigid temperatures and a frozen track and hoped to get the track in condition to race Saturday and Sunday.
Overall, the track has lost six days because of weather since the start of the meet. Despite the lack of live racing, Oaklawn will remain open for simulcast racing and gaming.
“There is no doubt that the weather has reeked havoc on the racetrack, but we also took the safety of our patrons, horsemen and employees into consideration,” said assistant general manager of racing David Longinotti. “We were hopeful that we could race Saturday and Sunday because the forecast is for warming temperatures, but after this latest blow, we had no choice but to cancel. We wanted to make this call early for the convenience of our horsemen and visitors, who may have been traveling this weekend.”
Live racing is not scheduled at Oaklawn again until Thursday, Feb. 10 with a 1:30 p.m. first post.