Friday, August 10, 2018
Oaklawn Park has released the first issue of its condition books for the first live season to extend beyond the marquee Arkansas Derby Day.
The cover of the condition book carries the message, "Stay until May." The interior provides the reasons to stay, including two $1 million Kentucky Derby prep races and three all-new stakes offerings.
Oaklawn will begin racing next season on Jan. 25, 2019. The 57-day season continues through May 4.
Condition books, as well as stall applications, can be found at http://www.oaklawn.com or obtained by calling 501-501-5570. Stall applications are due by Nov. 8.
The overall purse schedule of approximately $32 million includes maiden special weight races of $77,000 increased to $87,000 on three premier race days and open allowance races beginning at $78,000 increasing to as much as $88,000 on premier race days. They make for the nation's richest purses in their categories during the first half of the year.
With an emphasis on its 3-year-old prep series, premier races days include Monday, Feb. 18, featuring the Grade 3 $500,000 Southwest Stakes; Saturday, March 16, featuring the Grade 2 $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2); and April 13, featuring the Grade 1 $1 million Arkansas Derby.
Oaklawn has been a springboard for some of the best 3-year-olds in the country for over a decade including champion Smarty Jones, two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, champion Will Take Charge, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Belmont Stakes winner Creator, who went from maiden winner to Arkansas Derby winner before taking the third leg of the Triple Crown in 2016.
Horses to go through the 3-year-old maiden and allowance ranks in 2018 include recent Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes winner Tenfold, who broke his maiden Feb. 9 and won an allowance race March 18, and Grade 1 Preakness Stakes runner-up Bravazo, who won a Jan. 13 allowance race before going on to win the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes in his next start.
"We couldn't be more excited about the 2019 live meet and wanted to give horsemen plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming season by getting our first condition book out as early as possible," said Wayne Smith, general manager of Oaklawn. "The focal point of the season will of course be on the 3-year-olds, but we are also looking forward to our new dates and new stakes races. The quality of our racing just gets better and better and we're looking forward to showcasing that all the way into May."
Oaklawn previously announced a 30-race stakes schedule worth $8.85 million. The new stakes races are the $200,000 Oaklawn Mile on May 3 and the $200,000 Arkansas Breeders' Championship and $250,000 Oaklawn Invitational, both to be held on May 4.Sports on 08/10/2018
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