HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Thursday, January 8, 2015) | Because of concern for the well-being of horses and riders, Oaklawn has postponed the opening of the 2015 Live Racing Season until Thursday, Jan. 15.
Oaklawn remains open for gaming and simulcast racing. The newly expanded game room will have normal business hours of 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday.
The track will now open for Live Racing with a five-day race week that includes the special Martin Luther King Jr. card featuring the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. The opening day card will feature the traditional $.50 corned beef sandwiches and the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes. The $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes will be the run Friday, Jan. 16. The Dixie Belle and Fifth Season had been scheduled to be run Jan. 9 and 10, respectively and will be redrawn.
Temperatures tumbled to as low as 11 degrees with high winds in Hot Springs Wednesday night, and the decision to postpone Live Racing was made early Thursday morning following a meeting between track management and horsemen representatives.
“Our track maintenance crews worked to maintain the racing surface all night,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti. “It became clear shortly after sunrise that we were not going to be able to hold it. The safety of the horses and riders is always our first concern and this weather is just not conductive for racing. We look forward to kicking off things next week.”
Revised Oaklawn Racing Schedule:
Thursday, Jan. 15: 1 p.m. First Post
$100,000 Dixie Belle
50-Cent Corned Beef Promotion
Friday, Jan. 16: 1 p.m. First Post
$100,000 Fifth Season
Saturday, Jan. 17: 1 p.m. First Post
Sunday, Jan. 18: 1:30 p.m. First Post
Monday, Jan. 19: 1 p.m. First Post
$150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes
Free Ball Cap Giveaway