TVG has added Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., to its winter lineup and will televise the 2012 Oaklawn meet beginning Jan. 13.
The 56-day meet concludes April 14 with the running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I).
“Oaklawn is an important addition to our TV lineup,” said Tony Allevato, TVG executive vice president, in a release. “It is home to one of the nation’s premier winter race meets, offering events that are prominent on the Triple Crown Trail. I believe our viewers will enjoy all the color and excitement the meet offers.”
“Oaklawn is thrilled to open our live races up to the TVG audience,” said Bobby Geiger, director of wagering and gaming, in a statement. “Our racing program has produced champion after champion the last decade and as we enter a new era, with TVG personality Frank Mirahmadi taking over as our new announcer, the timing seemed perfect to join the network. We are really excited about our 2012 meet and look forward to seeing who our next Zenyatta or Havre de Grace will be.”
Racing at Oaklawn will primarily be conducted from Thursdays through Sundays, with the exceptions of opening week, which kicks off on a Friday and ends on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; President’s Weekend; and the final week of the season which runs from Wednesday through Saturday.
The Oaklawn meet will offer stakes worth almost $5.2 million, including 10 graded events, highlighted by the previously mentioned Arkansas Derby and the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), contested Friday, April 13.
The meet’s other top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) preps are the Rebel Stakes (gr. III) and the Southwest Stakes (gr. III). The Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies is a major Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) stepping stone.