Oaklawn On-Track Numbers Dip, Off-Track Gain Slightly

Arkansas' Oaklawn Park drew an average of 11,251 fans a day this season, down from last year's 12,428. Based on figures through the meet's April 14 close, wagering by Oaklawn patrons on races at the Hot Springs track was down 11.1%. But wagering on simulcast races was up 8%. Calvin Borel won the jockey title with 70 winners. Cole Norman won the training title by saddling 43 winners.

The track requested and was granted a 54-day meeting for 2002, up two days from this year's meet. Oaklawn will open Jan. 25 for a three-day weekend of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday cards. The meet will continue with another three-day weekend the following week and then conduct five-day (Wednesday through Sunday) racing through April 13.

Oaklawn's track announcer, Terry Wallace, completed his 27th straight meet with perfect attendance. Not once during the span has Wallace missed a day or even a race. "That streak in horse racing compares to what Cal Ripken did in baseball," Oaklawn general manager Eric Jackson said. "The streak impresses countless people in our industry. It certainly does me." Wallace, 56, has been director of media relations since 1984. He joined Oaklawn as announcer in 1975, succeeding the late Chic Anderson.