Oaklawn Park is planning a full-blown 'Smarty Party' for June 5 when the track's adopted son, Smarty Jones, goes for the Visa Triple Crown and second $5-million bonus in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Smarty Jones' win in the Derby will feed the dreams of thousands who own or breed on a modest scale...
Wild Spirit, the second-place finisher in the April 3 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. II), was disqualified to third Tuesday by the Oaklawn Racing Commission for a bumping incident with Star Parade at the top of the stretch.
The Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park Saturday promises to be one of the more intriguing matchups of the year as six older fillies and mares have been entered, including grade I winners Azeri, Wild Spirit, Island Fashion, and Star Parade.
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.
Someday Farm's Smarty Jones, unbeaten in five career starts, heads a record list of 152 nominations for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 10 at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/8-mile stakes is the highlight of the eighth and final day of the Racing Festival of the South, and also closing day of the live meet at the Hot Springs track.
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules and Mr. and Mrs. William Warren Jr's Saint Liam, the one-two finishers in the Feb. 29 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, and the past two Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winners--Private Emblem (2002) and Sir Cherokee (2003)--head a list of 17 horses nominated for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 3.
Pie N Burger, the runner-up to Private Emblem in the Essex Handicap (gr. III) on Feb. 21, weighs in as the 119-pound highweight for Sunday's Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-miles race is a prep race for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles on April 3.
My Trusty Cat, impressive winner of a local allowance test in her first start of 2004, hopes to continue the momentum in the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Oaklawn Park. Among the challengers in the March 13 event is Spectacular Lisa, two-for-two in stakes this year.
Instant Racing, which combines pari-mutuel wagering with video gaming technology, had its best month ever at Oaklawn Park when patrons poured $5.82 million through the machines in February.
When a squall line ripped through Hot Springs, Ark. Thursday evening at 7 p.m., the results "raised the roof" of Barn 25 in the Oaklawn Park stable area, depositing it largely on Barn 28 and a pair of unsuspecting trucks.
Sir Cherokee, knocked off stride in a roughly run New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 29 at Fair Grounds, returned to his Oaklawn Park base after having suffered body soreness and superficial cuts. But his trainer, Mike Tomlinson, isn't particularly happy with the events of the day.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn Park hosted 62,982 patrons during its opening three days, making it one of the biggest opening weekends in recent memory for the Hot Springs, Ark. racetrack.
Oaklawn Park will kick off its 100th season of racing Jan. 23 with expected full fields and enticements for on-track patrons.
Oaklawn Park has completed the overhaul of its racetrack, which included rebuilding the base and renovating the racing surface. Horses are scheduled to arrive at the Arkansas track around Dec. 1.
Oaklawn Park announced Wednesday that it will not only double the purse for next year's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) from $500,000 to $1 million, but also will offer a $5-million bonus should any horse sweep the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
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.
Nominations have closed for the four races at Oaklawn Park during its Racing Festival of the South. Medaglia d'Oro and Congaree are nominated to the Oaklawn Handicap.
Oaklawn Park has raised purses $1,000 across the board in all races except stakes events.
A winter storm has canceled racing Wednesday and Thursday in Arkansas and Wednesday's card in Maryland.
Live racing at Oaklawn Park has been canceled for Thursday, Feb. 6..
Oaklawn Park, which was forced to postpone its opening weekend, has had to cancel another day of racing because of harsh weather conditions.
The arctic weather sweeping the country has caused Oaklawn to cancel its opening weekend. No races will be run Friday, Saturday, or Sunday because the racing surface at the Hot Springs, Ark., track is frozen. The track is open for simulcasting.
The Oaklawn Jockey Club is preparing for its 99th year of racing which opens Friday, Jan. 24.
Oaklawn Park will offer its highest purse structure ever when it opens Jan. 24, 2003 with daily average purses of $235,000 to $240,000.
Hawthorne Race Course's spring meet continued to provide a popular turf racing "bridge" between winter/spring meets at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn Park, and the meet that just began at Arlington Park.
Former AmTote president Ted Mudge began working at Magna Entertainment this week.
Oaklawn Park posted gains in attendance and both on-track and total handle during the Arkansas track's 52-day meet which concluded Saturday, when 52,122 fans attended for Arkansas Derby day.
The Arkansas Racing Commission Saturday approved Oaklawn Park's schedule request for 2003.
A field of eight will go postward in Saturday's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I). Highweight in the field is local legend Mr Ross, who will carry 118 pounds in the $500,000, 1 1/8-miles contest.
Trainer Richard Jackson on Wednesday declared Remington Rock a non-starter for Saturday's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) due to sickness. The defection of Remington Rock from Oaklawn Park's Saturday co-feature leaves an expected field of eight for the 1 1/8-mile race.
Trainer James Cassidy has decided to keep Rebel Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Ocean Sound at Oaklawn Park to run in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Another Southern California-based horse likely for the Arkansas Derby is Holdthehelm.
Windward Passage, relishing the added ground, rolls to a one- length victory in the Rebel Stakes
Jeremiah Jack is slated to make his first start since undergoing surgery to correct a breathing problem in Saturday's $100,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Earl H. Shultz homebred Ask Me No Secrets set a moderate pace then kicked clear in the stretch to win Saturday's $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by 4 1/2 lengths. Under Mike Smith, the 4-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.56 on a fast track.
Don C. McNeill homebred Mr Ross passed Big Numbers in the stretch, then held off fast-closing Remington Rock by a neck Saturday to win the $100,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) for the second year in a row.
Paloma Parilla and Cojet will both miss their anticipated starts in the March 23 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Calvin Borel was to ride Cojet in the Rebel, but quickly picked up the mount on Ocean Sound for the 1 1/16-mile race.
For the third time this season, Oaklawn Park has increased purses, with the newest boost going into effect Saturday.
Terry Thompson, the leading rider of the current Oaklawn Park meet, was injured Saturday after falling from Fleet Boss during the track's fifth race.
Bedanken stalked the early pace, then edged clear in the stretch to earn her second straight Oaklawn Park stakes win in Saturday's $75,000 Honeybee Stakes.
Cozy Susie, a two-time winner on turf but a maiden of the main track, will go to post as the highweighted filly in Saturday's Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Citing frigid temperatures, management at Sportsman's Park cancelled live racing Monday. Racing at the Illinois track is scheduled to resume Tuesday.
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.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
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.
Oaklawn Park's three-day opening weekend lured more than 45,000 patrons for what officials at the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack said was one of the strongest meet kick-offs in the past 10 years.
It may be the last major winter meet to get underway, but it won't be the least on a number of fronts. Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., is looking forward to a strong 2002 season because of higher purses, an increase in on-track business, and plenty of interest by horsemen.
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