Eric Jackson

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Oaklawn Park Numbers Show Highs and Lows

  • News

In spite of unsatisfactory weather conditions throughout much of the winter-spring, business at Oaklawn Park stayed strong on track through the 2007 live racing season. While attendance and daily average slipped, on-track wagering remained strong.

Weekend Racing Cancelled at Oaklawn Park

Wintry conditions which have made the racing surface at Oaklawn Park unsuitable for racing have forced the cancellation of this week's live racing. Racing has been cancelled through Feb.4, and will resume Feb. 8.

Slade Named Director of Surveillance at Oaklawn

  • News

Jim Slade, a veteran of more than 25 years in security and surveillance, has been named director of surveillance at Oaklawn Park. Slade's appointment is the first of a number of positions to be filled in anticipation of the games of skill to be added to the Instant Racing gaming at the track. The new games are coming as a result of a citywide election this year.

Oaklawn Park Meet Posts Record Handle

Highlighted by a record 72,464 on hand for Lawyer Ron's victory in the closing-day Arkansas Derby (gr. II), the 2006 meet at Oaklawn Park posted record wagering during its 53-day meet. The meet was originally scheduled for 56 days, but racing was canceled on three days of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend due to adverse weather conditions.

Instant Racing Has First One-Day $1M Handle

Instant Racing--pari-mutuel wagering machines that closely resemble video lottery terminals--had its first $1-million day in handle Feb. 21 at Oaklawn Park. Instant Racing, a product of RaceTech, first began operating at the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack in 2000.

Purse Hike, New HBPA Contract for Oaklawn

  • News

Oaklawn Park will increase purses for all non-stakes races by $1,500 through closing day, April 10, Eric Jackson, the general manager of Oaklawn Park, announced Saturday.

Centennial (Cella)bration: Oaklawn Turns 100

Brainstorming for ideas to celebrate Oaklawn Park's centennial in 2004, track owner Charles Cella turned into the $6-million man late last summer. At the ripe old age of 67, Cella stunned his colleagues when he said he was going to offer a $5-million bonus to any 3-year-old that swept Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and then won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He also raised the purse of the Arkansas Derby to $1 million.

Arkansas Derby Helps Oaklawn Meet Recover

  • News

The 2003 Oaklawn Park meet started with cancellation of the opening weekend's cards due to terrible weather, but ended its 49-day run with an outstanding crowd of 61,752 for the Arkansas Derby program April 12.

Oaklawn and Turfway Increasing Purses

Good weather and higher handles are driving up purses at Oaklawn Park and Turfway Park. Oaklawn will increase purses by $1,000 per race starting Saturday, while Turfway Park will increase purses 7% beginning with Friday's card. Both purse increases exclude stakes races.

Oaklawn Cancels Racing Wednesday

In the interest of the safety, Oaklawn Park has cancelled both live and simulcast programs for Wednesday, Feb. 6. The decision was made Wednesday morning following a four-inch snowfall overnight in the Hot Springs area.

'Instant Racing' Handle Now $1M a Month

It has taken almost four years, but "Instant Racing" machines have become an overnight sensation at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. In November, handle generated by the machines topped $1.2 million.

Oaklawn Owner Says He'll 'Keep This Thing Going'

The 2001 season hasn't been kind to Oaklawn Park, and Arkansas in general. Wild swings in weather since December have made it tough for the track maintenance crew and the state's residents, who aren't coming to the races as much as they used to. Track owner Charles Cella said he will continue to overpay purses in the hope relief is just around the corner.

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