Oaklawn Park race track is a one-mile thoroughbred track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Oaklawn
Park race track’s racing season is typically held from January to April. As Arkansas’ premier
horse racing track, Oaklawn Park race track is host to the state’s biggest horse
racing event - the Arkansas Derby.
Aside from the Arkansas Derby, other major stakes held at the track are the
Essex Handicap, the Razorback Handicap, the Hot Springs, the Carousel and the
|Largest Opening Day Attendance
|Largest Opening Day Handle
|Largest Season Attendance
|Largest Average Daily Attendance
|Largest Season Purse Distribution
|Largest Average Daily Purses
|Largest Season Handle
|Largest Average Daily Handle
|Largest Single Day Attendance
|Largest Single Day Handle
|Largest Daily Double Handle
- On February 24, Oaklawn Park Race Track opened its doors to horse racing enthusiasts.
A crowd of some 3,000 attended as the day was declared a half-day holiday by
Hot Springs Mayor John Belding. Duelest won the first race at the new track.
- Due to political problems in the state, racing was suspended.
- Racing resumed at Oaklawn. The track is now owned by Louis Cella.
- The Arkansas Derby was born with a purse $5,000. First winner was Holl
- Racing throughout the United States ended for an indefinite period
at the request of War Mobilization Director James F. Byrnes. However, the ban
was lifted May 9 of the same year. A 30-day season was held on November 5 through
December 8 for the lost Spring season. On opening day, an estimated crowd of
4,200 attended, and $189,289 was wagered.
- Oaklawn gained national attention when its handle rose from a daily
average of $336,341 to $434,667. Attendance climbs from 7,057 a day to 7,739.
- The Meeting reached two milestones when its averages reached 10,000
in attendance and $500,000 pari-mutuel handle.
- Arkansas Derby purse increased to $50,000.
- Records continue to be broken. During the 50-day meeting, a total crowd
of 556,000 attended and bet $43,366,921. The averages were 11,120 and $867,338.
- The first running of the Fantasy Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies, took
- The Racing Festival of the South was born. The pari-mutuel handle for
the meeting amounted to $80,199,719.
- More than 250,000 fans attended the Racing Festival of the South. Temperence
Hill won the Arkansas Derby.
- The purse for the Arkansas Derby was increased to $500,000.
- A record single day attendance of 71,203 saw Nancy and John Reed's
Rampage win the Golden Anniversary running of the $500,000 guaranteed Arkansas
- The Oaklawn Club was completely renovated.
- Oaklawn Park race track achieved a record handle of $10,653,518 on Arkansas Derby
- Instant Racing, a pari-mutuel electronic system which allows players
to wager on previously-run races, was introduced and field-tested at Oaklawn
Park race track.
- Oaklawn Park race track saw across-the-board increases in attendance and mutuel