Oaklawn Loses Eighth Program of Young Meet

Oaklawn Park again canceled live racing for Friday, Feb. 11, because of track conditions. It was the eighth cancellation of the young meet at the Arkansas racetrack.

Officials said the temperature in Hot Springs didn’t warm as quickly as expected, leaving the track unsuitable for racing and for the safety of the horses and jockeys, the horsemen, stewards, and track officials believed it was best to cancel the program. The track maintenance crew will continue to work the track throughout the day to have the track ready for racing Feb. 12, officials said.

“Our track crew has been working the track since early this morning, but because the temperatures are still hovering around freezing, the track just hasn’t responded the way we would want,” assistant general manager David Longinotti said. “We are all eager to get back to racing, but safety must come first. We fully expect to have a great weekend of live racing.”

The weekend will feature the $75,000 Martha Washington Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile Feb. 12 and the $100,000 Essex Handicap for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 13. The Essex had been originally scheduled for Feb. 5.

Friday’s cancellation is the eighth of the meet and sixth straight. The track lost opening day, Jan. 14; Jan. 20; Feb. 3-6; and Feb. 10.