Oaklawn Jockey Club
One of Arkansas' true institutions, Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs has been around since 1905 and has grown into one of the country's premier horse racing venues.
The $1 million Arkansas Derby, held each spring at Oaklawn at the conclusion of the park's Racing Festival of the South, is one of the most significant prep races to the Kentucky Derby. The Oaklawn track has been home to some of the biggest names in horse racing including Temperence Hill, Cigar, Curlin, Paseana, Azeri, Tiffany Lass, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin At Lucky, Blind Luck and Zenyatta.
In 2000 Oaklawn introduced Instant Racing, an electronic wagering system. Five years later a public referendum, passed by 89 votes, allowed Oaklawn to expand its games of skill. In 2008 Oaklawn began construction on a $3 million 60,000 square-foot two-level structure devoted to gaming.
Oaklawn's largest crowd was recorded on April 15, 2006 when 72,484 watched Lawyer Ron take the Arkansas Derby. The track's largest season attendance was 1,419,650 in 1984 and its largest average daily attendance was 23,271 for the 1983 racing season.
The year 2010 saw the park's largest season purse distribution ($16,481,618) as well as the largest average daily purse ($329,632).
The Arkansas Derby and Apple Blossom Handicap are Oaklawn's grade 1 races. Grade 2 races are the Fantasy Stakes, Oaklawn Handicap and Rebel Stakes. Other prominent races at the park include the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, the Razorback Handicap and the Southwest Stakes.
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