Oaklawn Park's 2015 live meet ended April 11 with increases in total handle and record-setting purses despite losing seven days to bad weather.
Zayat Stables' homebred American Pharoah continued his tour de force of the Oaklawn Park 3-year-old prep series April 11, blowing away seven in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) with an impressive eight-length score.
Matthew Schera's Race Day is proving to be a bargain after taking the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park on April 11.
In the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park April 9, Alsvid recovered from a stumble at the start to catch Ivan Fallunovalot in the stretch and win by three-quarters of a length.
Zayat Stables' homebred American Pharoah will try to wrap up his Triple Crown prep season with a victory in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) on Saturday, April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
Champion Untapable will get another chance at Oaklawn Park and should be sharper in her second start of the season against unlikely rival Gold Medal Dancer in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 10.
Multiple stakes winner Far Right recorded his final workout for the April 11 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park the morning of April 4 for Ron Moquett. The Notional ridgling breezed an easy half-mile in :48 4/5.
The Truth Or Else will add blinkers for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 11 at Oaklawn Park, trainer Kenny McPeek said after the colt's bullet workout at the Arkansas oval April 1.
Gold Medal Dancer traveled five furlongs in a brisk :59 1/5 March 28 at Oaklawn Park, prepping for a run in the April 10 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). A decision will be made March 30 as to whether Untapable will run.
Matthew Schera's Race Day edged past a stubborn Midnight Hawk near the wire to capture the $250,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) for 4-year-olds and up March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Untapable wasn't unstoppable in her season debut March 14, missing the victory by half a length to gate-to-wire winner Gold Medal Dancer in the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
A minor operation to place a pin in the right knee of champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi March 12 was a "textbook procedure," Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas reported March 13 at Oaklawn Park.
This season Baffert comes in loaded for bear, with Zayat Stables' 2-year-old champion American Pharoah set to make his 2015 debut. American Pharoah has turned in a series of scintillating works at Santa Anita.
Take Charge Brandi will miss the March 14 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) with a non-displaced bone chip in her right knee. The injury will also prevent her from a run in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The would-be spoiler will get a chance at victory sans 'Brandi' March 7, as her more accomplished rival will start against boys March 14. Sarah Sis heads a group of nine sophomore fillies in the $150,000 Honeybee.
The Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously approved a request by Oaklawn Park Feb. 28 to add two Wednesdays to its 2015 Racing Season -- March 18 and March 25-to compensate for days lost to winter weather.
The Saturday, Feb. 28, race card at Oaklawn Park that featured two $75,000 stakes, has been canceled due to below freezing temperatures.
Due to winter weather, live racing at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia and at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas has been cancelled for Feb. 27, along with racing at Maryland's Laurel Park.
Owner Willis Horton confirmed Feb. 25 that the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14 is under consideration as a target for champion Take Charge Brandi, although a decision has not yet been made.
Zayat Stables will continue its chess game of 3-year-old prep racing by shipping Mr. Z to the March 28 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), while American Pharoah runs in the Rebel (gr. II) and El Kabeir starts in the Gotham (gr. II).
Aided by cancellations and healthy purse accounts, Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and Turfway Park in Kentucky have increased overnight purses.
Willis Horton's champion Take Charge Brandi posted a five-furlong bullet work in 1:00 2/5 Feb. 21 at Oaklawn Park, a major move in preparation for her upcoming outing in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) March 7.
A winter storm has led Oaklawn Park to cancel its Feb. 16 Presidents' Day card that included the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III).
Ride On Curlin, under regular exercise rider Bryan Beccia, worked an easy half mile in :49 3/5 after the break the morning of Feb. 11 in preparation for the $100,000 Essex Handicap to be run Feb. 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Far Right will make his next start in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 16 at Oaklawn Park, Ron Moquett confirmed the morning of Jan. 31. Mike Smith will again have the mount aboard the Smarty Jones Stakes winner.
Champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi will get a new rider when she makes her sophomore debut Jan. 31 at Oaklawn Park, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
On Nov. 1 Take Charge Brandi won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). It was her first score for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas since breaking her maiden in June, but launched her championship season.
The road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park will begin Jan. 19 with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, a one-mile test for 3-year-olds which drew a group of nine.
Daniel Dougherty's Ride On Curlin returned to the races in winning fashion Jan. 15, taking a six-furlong allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn Park by a head in his season debut.
Trainer Billy Gowan had several options for the 4-year-old debut of Ride On Curlin, but he decided to take what he believes is the path of least resistance: a second-level allowance Jan. 15 in the ninth race at Oaklawn.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas had planned to take his time with Take Charge Brandi, but the finalist for champion 2-year-old filly of 2014 has other ideas.
Opening of the 2015 meet at Oaklawn Park has been postponed until Thursday, Jan. 15, as a result of track conditions cause by cold weather.
Keeneland and Turf Catering said Jan. 8 the racetrack will acquire Turf Catering's Keeneland division effective Feb. 1.
The nine-race Jan. 9 opening-day card at Oaklawn Park drew 92 entries, three more than the corresponding date last year and seven more than in 2013 at the Hot Springs, Ark., Thoroughbred track.
Peter F. Carr Jr., who raced Thoroughbreds at tracks in the Southwest, died Dec. 26 at age 69. Friends said Carr owned a few horses and was a huge fan of the sport his entire life.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the game plan at this time for Take Charge Brandi, leading contender for champion 2-year-old filly honors, includes the Longines Kentucky Oaks and none of the Triple Crown preps.
Charles Cella, president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club, announced Dec. 10 that the Arkansas racetrack will waive its $2 general admission fee for the 2015 season that begins in January.
Fletcher and Carolyn Gray's homebred Icon Ike, a stakes-winning son of Yes It's True, will stand the 2015 breeding season at Dr. Linda Robbins' Starfish Stallions near Hot Springs, Ark. His fee will be $1,000.
Hightail, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, will stand the 2015 breeding season at Richard and Francis Hessee's Trophy Club Training Center in Royal, Ark.
Laurie's Rocket has been retired and will stand the 2015 season at Bill and Mary McDowell's McDowell Farm near Sparkman, Ark., owner Willis Horton announced Oct. 22.
The Arkansas Racing Commission approved the entire program Sept. 11. Once implemented, Arkansas will become the sixth state to fully administer the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's National Uniform Medication rules.
The Oaklawn Jockey Club has announced it is projecting a record purse distribution of $23.5 million for its 2015 racing season, the seventh consecutive year of increased purses.
The Texas Racing Commission has approved the publication for public comment the proposed rules for historical race wagering, also known as Instant Racing, at tracks in that state that conduct live racing.
Oaklawn Park is using its 2nd annual Smokelawn BBQ Championship event in the Infield May 3 to help raise money for tornado relief efforts and will donate all proceeds from the "People's Choice Award" to the cause.
Oaklawn Park recorded double-digit increases in total handle, average daily handle, and average daily purse distribution during the 51-day meet that ended April 12.
Will Take Charge won the 3-year-old championship, but speedster Moreno was surprisingly right there with him in the summer months before going to the sidelines after the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
A historical look at the Arkansas Derby (gr. I). view infographic
Florida and Arkansas illustrate the challenges in obtaining uniformity. read blog
Favored at odds of 3-5 and making her first start of the season, Juddmonte's 4-year-old First Defence filly galloped wire to wire in the 1 1/16-mile test, taking rider Joel Rosario straight to the winner's circle March 15.
Every morning D. Wayne Lukas sends the first set out over the Arkansas oval, their hooves sinking softly in the freshly harrowed ground. On March 14, he supervised Rebel contender Strong Mandate and champion Will Take Charge.
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