Oaklawn Park's 57-day meet that begins Friday, Jan. 10 will offer more than $20 million in purses and 31 stakes, highlighted by the 78th running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 12.
- By Tom LaMarra
- Racing, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky, Mid-Atlantic
Eight stakes were elevated in or to graded status and 11 were downgraded for 2014 during the meeting of the American Graded Stakes Committee Dec. 4 in Lexington.
Purse increases to 19 of 31 stakes races and the creation of a Racing Festival of the South Preview Day are among the highlights of Oaklawn's 2014 stakes schedule.
Zayat Stables' Justin Phillip rallied in the stretch to win the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park April 13.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby hadn't raced since May 28 of last year. She came back with a vengeance April 12, holding off Tiz Miz Sue to win the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn by half a length.
Lightly raced and undefeated Gentlemen's Bet will add some intrigue when he faces several tough competitors in the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park April 13.
Hamazing Destiny, a grade III winner and a Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up, has been retired from racing for stallion duty at Westrock Stables near Little Rock, Ark.
Super Ninety Nine rolled to an 11 1/4-length win in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 18 for Susan and Charles Chu's Tanma Corporation, muddling the 3-year-old picture even more.
One day before champion Royal Delta makes her 2013 debut in the Sabin Stakes (gr. III), a rival who gave her a run for her money returns to the races in the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Jockey Calvin Borel has resumed exercising horses and hopes to continue his quest for career victory 5,000 with a return to the saddle on Feb. 16.
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Willis Horton's Will Take Charge notched his first stakes victory Jan. 21 when he got the best of eight other 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Both jockey Calvin Borel and his longtime agent Jerry Hissam are recovering--one from injury and one from illness--as the three-time Kentucky Derby winner sits one away from 5,000 career victories.
Despite the lifting an equine herpesvirus-related quarantine at Hawthorne Race Course, Oaklawn Park in Arkansas is still not permitting Hawthorne horses on its grounds.
Oaklawn Park has canceled live race cards for Jan. 12 and 13 due to unsafe track conditions caused by heavy rains in Hot Springs, Ark.
Win 5,000 will have to wait. Veteran reinsman Calvin Borel has sustained a minor wrist fracture that will keep him on the sidelines for about 18 days.
The city of Hot Springs, Ark., is issuing trading cards that will be given to fans in attendance at Oaklawn Park on the day jockey Calvin Borel rides his 5,000th career winner.
Oaklawn Park and KARZ 42 in Little Rock, Ark.,have announced the launch of "Oaklawn Today," a new television program for the 2013 racing season.
Bill Walmsley, the long-time president of the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and former president of the National HBPA, has been appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
Paul Szeflinski has been named director of gaming technical maintenance at Oaklawn Park, succeeding Bruce Jones, who was recently promoted to assistant director of gaming.
Brahms, a grade I winner by Danzig out of Mr. Prospector's champion daughter Queena, has been relocated to Richard Hessee's Trophy Club Training Center near Royal, Ark.
Though it is only in the discussion stages, there is a strong likelihood that all horses racing at Oaklawn Park in 2013 will undergo a pre-race examination.
Leon Cline, a veteran Oaklawn Park trainer, died Aug. 25 at age 70.
Oaklawn Park's 2013 live meeting will be the richest in the Arkansas track's 109-year history. Purses will total close to $20 million during the 56-day season, Jan. 11-April 13.
Grade II winner J Be K will relocate to Haras Santa Ana in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Unlike 2011, when the meet was hampered by inclement weather, Oaklawn Park raced seven more days this year, resulting in increases in total purses, attendance, and handle, while daily averages declined in each category.
Rebel Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Optimizer put in his final workout for Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
New Mexico-based Isn't He Clever and the Todd Pletcher-trained Heavy Breathing were added to the mix for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) when nominations closed with 97 horses being made eligible for the race.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace tops the list of horses nominated to the stakes extravaganza that, along with the Arkansas Derby (gr. I), comprise the "Racing Festival of the South" at Oaklawn Park April 11-14.
Officials at Oaklawn Park said that with an additional $800,000 in purse money through the end of the meet, purses will total a record $18 million for the 56-day session.
Now I Know, winner of the 2011 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III), has been retired from racing, according to a Feb. 14 Oaklawn Park press release.
Oaklawn Park said overnight purses will increase $5,000 per day effective Feb. 9 because of improved business aided by good weather.
Ordained, a winning son of Pulpit, has been retired from racing to stand in 2012 at Dr. Linda A. Robbins' Starfish Stables LLC near Hot Springs, Ark.
Anita Cauley's 3-year-old filly On Fire Baby, winner of two grade II stakes at the 2011 Churchill Downs fall meet, is poised to challenge males in the $100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn Park.
Bob Holthus, a veteran Midwest trainer, died the morning of Nov. 22 at his Louisville home.
J Be K, a New York grade II winner, will stand at Richard Hessee's Trophy Club Training Center near Royal, Ark.
Terry Wallace, who retired as Oaklawn Park's track announcer in June after 37 seasons of racing, will be among the 2012 class of inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in February 2012.
The Daddy, winner of the Super Derby (gr. II), will relocate to Richard Hessee's Trophy Club Training Center near Royal, Ark.
Larry Sterling, who trained the great California closer Vigors, died July 27 in Hot Springs, Ark., after battling cancer.
Terry Wallace, who has called the races at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas for 37 consecutive years, will retire from that position but continue serving in other roles, the track announced June 16.
Oaklawn Park has announced the appointment of Jamie Richardson as track superintendent for the Hot Springs, Arkansas track.
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Oaklawn Park reported increases in attendance, pari-mutuel handle, and purses for its 2011 meet, which was impacted early on by weather-related cancellations.
For the third consecutive year, Oaklawn Park will offer a participation bonus from March 31 through the end of the meet on April 16 for all non-stakes races that draw more than eight wagering interests.
As McKinsey & Company prepares for The Jockey Club a broad report on Thoroughbred racing, a horsemen's group has reviewed a medication study the company authored 20 years ago.
Funding reductions for operations and benevolence brought on by horse racing's economic woes have led numerous affiliates of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association to reconsider NTRA membership.
Terry Wallace, the voice of Arkansas horse racing since 1975, was honored March 19 with the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's Man of the Year Award for 2011.
Horsemen were told March 18 of the importance of keeping close watch of purse accounts, money from which sometimes ends up commingled with racetrack operating accounts or tangled in bankruptcy cases.
After getting the meet off to a bumpy start due to inclement weather, Oaklawn Park reported that improved weather led to larger crowds in February, resulting in the second purse increase.
Robert Yagos' Archarcharch finished first in a scramble in the grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park Feb. 21 to earn his first graded-stakes victory and move forward on the Triple Crown trail.
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