Oaklawn Park's 57-day meet that begins Friday, Jan. 10 will offer more than $20 million in purses and 31 stakes, highlighted by the 78th running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 12.
Oaklawn's 3-year-old stakes program is one of the most successful in the nation. Last year it included likely champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Oxbow , whose victory in the Preakness was the 10th Triple Crown race won by an Oaklawn-raced horse in 10 years.
The four-race program offers 289 points based on the qualifying method for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and these race days also help anchor some of Oaklawn's most popular promotions. The series starts Monday, Jan. 20 with a special Martin Luther King Jr. card that features the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and a free baseball cap giveaway with paid admission. It continues Monday, Feb. 17 with a Presidents' Day Weekend card that includes the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) and $55,000 Progressive Cash Giveaway.
Next to Arkansas Derby Day is Rebel Stakes (gr. II) Day, Saturday, March 15. In addition to this $600,000 race for aspiring sophomores, the card includes the $200,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) and $200,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) and one lucky fan will walk away with a new boat and truck, courtesy of Bradford Marine.
The meet will begin with the traditional $.50 corned beef sandwiches on opening Saturday, Jan. 11 and end with the Racing Festival of the South which starts Saturday, April 5 with the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. III) and concludes Saturday, April 12 with the Arkansas Derby and three other stakes.
Back by popular demand, Oaklawn will open its infield, complete with a Beer Garden, live music, and family-friendly activities, every Saturday from Rebel Stakes day through Arkansas Derby day.
The popular "Dawn at Oaklawn" program sponsored by Westrock Coffee returns Saturday, Feb. 15 and will allow guests to get up close and personal with the horses and top racing personalities from 7:30-9:30 a.m. every Saturday through the end of the meet. Visitors can take barn tours as part of the Saturday morning program.