Leading Arkansas Derby (gr. I) contender Bayern got his first feel for the Oaklawn Park racing strip the morning of April 10 after arriving a day earlier with the contingent of California horses competing this weekend.
Secret Circle, a two-time graded stakes winner at Oaklawn Park as a 3-year-old in 2012, returns to the Hot Springs, Ark., track April 10 as the one to beat in the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III).
Commissioner, headed for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I), is among three horses multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher plans to send to to Oaklawn Park for the last day of the Racing Festival of the South.
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.
A $200,000 bump to the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) and a condensed four-day, nine stakes Racing Festival of the South highlight Oaklawn Park's 2012 live racing season, which kicks off Jan. 13.
Oaklawn Park has raised all overnight purses by $1,000 effective April 9, when the Racing Festival of the South begins.
Only five older horses passed the entry box for Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), which along with the Apple Blossom (gr. I) kicks off the Racing Festival of the South at the Hot Springs, Ark. 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.
Trainer Bobby Frankel is shipping a quartet of runners for Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of South, including Peace Rules, who will look to defend the trainer's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) title. Frankel won the 2003 Oaklawn Handicap with Medaglia d'Oro, who is pointed toward the March 27 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Oaklawn Park will kick off its 100th season of racing Jan. 23 with expected full fields and enticements for on-track patrons.
The Oaklawn Jockey Club is preparing for its 99th year of racing which opens Friday, Jan. 24.
Hall of Fame Trainer Bill Mott has joined the Racing Festival of the South at Oaklawn Park with his entry of This Fleet is Due in Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I). The Oaklawn is part of a double-header with the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I).
The connections of Caressing and Atelier have opted to skip Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), part of a double-header with the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) in Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of the South.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Oaklawn Park raises the curtain on its 54-day meet Friday in the heart of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. The oval first saw racing in 1905.
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