Brilliant. Determined. Independent. Selfless. Responsible. Innovative. Cantankerous. Those are just a few of the words friends and associates used to describe John R. Gaines.
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).
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.
With a large number of trainers expressing interest in running their 3-year-olds in the $75,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 2, the track's racing secretary, Pat Pope, is considering spilling the race into two divisions. Among those possible for the one-mile fixture is the promising Frank Brothers trainee Clergy.
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