Tom Hall / Anne M. Eberhardt

50,000 Trading Cards to Promote Apple Blossom

Oaklawn Park will distribute trading cards at the track March 6.

In one of the first promotions for the Apple Blossom Invitational (gr. I), Oaklawn Park, the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Convention and Visitors Bureau is printing 50,000 trading cards of Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.

The trading cards -- 25,000 for each horse -- will be unveiled during a media event at Arkansas Graphics in Little Rock, Ark. Feb. 24. According to a spokesman for the Hot Springs CVB, they will distribute their allotment of the trading cards beginning at 10 a.m. (CT) March 2 at their center in Hot Springs, where Oaklawn Park is located.

David Longinotti, assistant general manager at Oaklawn Park, said the track will also have an unknown number of the trading cards to hand out to patrons at the track March 6. "Once they’re gone, they’re gone," he said.

The trading cards are one of the many promotions that will lead up to the April 9 Apple Blossom, which will carry a purse of $5 million if both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, the 2009 Horse of the Year and Horse of the year runner-up, respectively, participate.

While Oaklawn Park will benefit from the trading card promotion, Longinotti said it is all being handled by the HTCVB and its affiliated with Hot Springs Advertising and Promotions Commission, headed by Steve Arrison.

He said the visitors bureau printed and distributed similar cards when Hot Springs native Bill Clinton was elected president and when Smarty Jones won a $5 million bonus by sweeping a series of races at Oaklawn Park and the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in 2004.