Tag: Oaklawn Park

Concert Tour and sizzling rider Joel Rosario come into the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby unbeaten in three races, including this 4 3/4-length victory in last month's Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography)

Get Your Concert Tour Tickets for This Arkansas Derby

For reasons ranging from handicapping to running style to history, the Arkansas Derby is the perfect last stop on the Kentucky Derby Trail. You could dial up a better finishing prep race. But you’d second-guess yourself mid-thought and wind up back at Oaklawn Park. Yes, Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby […]

By My Standards won the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic Stakes last year at Fair Grounds. However, a Grade 1 eludes a horse who won more than $1 million in 2020. He opens his 2021 season at Oaklawn Park in the Listed Stakes Oaklawn Mile. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Oaklawn Mile Brings Three Familiar Names With Familiar Stories

The field for Saturday’s Listed Stakes Oaklawn Mile brings three familiar candidates with eclectic stories of redemption to a race that punches far above its weight class. There’s By My Standards, who makes his 2021 debut as the 5/2 favorite at the site of one of his 2020 victories. Hard […]

Joyful Image broke her maiden secon time out earlier this month. Saturday, the Runhappy offspring seeks to be Runhappy's first female stakes winner. Texas furniture magnate Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale owns Runhappy. (Image: Coady Photgraphy)

Mattress Mack’s Runhappy Seeks Happy Ending With Joyful Cadence

You know Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale as the Moby Dick of sports bettors. But horse racing fans better recognize the Houston furniture magnate/betting whale as the owner of Eclipse Award-winning sprinter-turned-stallion Runhappy. And one of Runhappy’s offspring, Joyful Cadence, runs for her sire’s second stakes progeny victory in Saturday’s Black-Type […]

Silver State won his second race of 2021 in Saturday's Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park. He was the lone favorite to win any of the five Cross Country Pick 5 races. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Long Shot Carlos L Produces $108,475 Cross Country Pick 5 Win

By winning Oaklawn Park’s Temperence Hill Stakes on Saturday, 47/1 longshot Carlos L produced one single winner in Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5. That winning ticket earned its lucky and savvy holder a healthy $108,475 payoff from the regular Saturday multi-track, multi-race wager. Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 incorporated three […]

Caddo River brings front-end speed, two-turn experience and Oaklawn familiarity to Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Expect Rebel Stakes to Flow Caddo River’s Way

The Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, which holds court as the lone Kentucky Derby prep of consequence this weekend, has a Grade 1 winner in its field. Bob Baffert doesn’t train 8/1 Get Her Number, the lone Grade 1 winner in Saturday’s Rebel at Oaklawn Park. Nor does Brad Cox. No, […]

Concert Tour arrived at Oaklawn Park Tuesday for Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. He and Bob Baffert stablemate, Hozier, shipped in from Southern California. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Concert Tour’s Next Gig on Stardom Path: Rebel Stakes

If Concert Tour was your garden-variety band embarking on a, well, concert tour, he’d be one of those hot new groups from the underground. A group people have heard of, but don’t really know about. He may not have broken through to the main stage yet, but Concert Tour is […]

After their resounding Southwest Stakes victory, Essential Quality and Luis Saez point to either the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland or the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. (Image: Coady Photography)

What’s Next on the Derby Trail for Essential Quality, Greatest Honour?

Essential Quality and Greatest Honour came out of their weekend Kentucky Derby prep victories none the worse for their victorious efforts. And, their respective trainers have already plotted their next stops on the Derby trail. Essential Quality, who splashed through the Oaklawn Park slop for a 4 ¼-length victory over […]

Monomoy Girl warms up for Sunday's Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park. She goes for her 14th win in 16 races as a prohibitive favorite. (Image: Coady Photography)

The Monomoy Girl Farewell Tour Opens at Oaklawn’s Bayakoa

Again, when you’re handicapping a Monomoy Girl race, like Sunday’s Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park, it’s best to put the pen down. Instead, pick up your attention and simply watch. Betting on Monomoy Girl, especially in a race like this, lacks value. For horse racing fans, however, it […]

Undefeated Essential Quality makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He's the 3/2 favorite in the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep.  (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Southwest Stakes: Answering One Question Picks Your Winner

From a betting standpoint, Saturday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park lacks value. Do you want 3/2 Essential Quality or 8/5 Jackie’s Warrior? There are five other horses in the field, but this isn’t a rhetorical question. From a watching standpoint, the 1 1/16-mile Southwest lacks nothing. How can […]

Fire At Will proved he is great on grass with this Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf win. Can he give favorite Greatest Honour a dirt duel in Saturday's Fountain of Youth? (Image: Coady Photography)

Weekend Stakes: Third Time Should be Oaklawn Park’s Charm

This weekend’s stakes card gives us another shot at seeing the 2021 debuts of Essential Quality, Jackie’s Warrior, and Monomoy Girl. After two weather postponements over the past two weekends, Oaklawn Park finally gets a thumbs-up from Mother Nature. That means the Arkansas track finally gets to turn loose its […]

Unfortunately, there is no morning line on the snowplows at Oaklawn Park. The Arkansas track lost eight days of racing over two weekends to the winter storms. The snowplows (Image: Coady Photography)

Oaklawn Fights Winter Postponements With More Races, Bigger Purses

Scrambling to make up eight lost days of racing, Oaklawn Park officials announced a revamped schedule that reschedules its five canceled stakes races, and adds races and purse money to the Arkansas track’s schedule. Oaklawn isn’t the only American racetrack feeling the polar blast buffeting the Central and Eastern US. […]

After winning January's Sham Stakes, Life Is Good attempts to follow Authentic's 2020 path to the Kentucky Derby. Like his Bob Baffert-trained forebear did last year, Life Is Good will run next at the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Baffert’s Next Move: One Derby Prospect Stays Home, One Hits Road

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert began plotting his next moves for his deep bench of Kentucky Derby prospects, with the first move sending top prospect Life Is Good to the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Baffert’s second move sends Freedom Fighter across the country for […]

For the second consecutive weekend, Oaklawn Park canceled its weekend racing card due to inclement weather forecasts. (Image: Richard Rasmussen/The Sentinel-Record

Citing More Storms, Oaklawn Park Postpones Weekend Card Again

Oaklawn Park announced late Monday evening that it canceled this weekend’s Thursday through Sunday racing card, citing stormy forecasts for the Hot Springs, AR, region. This once again pushes back three Grade 3 races, including a key Kentucky Derby prep involving Champion 2-Year-Old Essential Quality. That race, the Southwest Stakes, […]

Mystic Guide comes into this weekend's Grade 3 Razorback Handicap with six in-the-money finishes. That includes his victory here in last summer's JIm Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Coglianese Photo)

Weekend Stakes Span the Globe From Saudi Arabia to California

Looking at this weekend’s notable stakes races takes the eye halfway around the world to the $20 million Saudi Cup. Another look also takes the eye back to three races postponed from last weekend to this weekend – the Southwest Stakes, the Bayakoa Stakes, and the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn […]

Oaklawn Park scrubbed its Presidents' Weekend card due to expected ice storms this weekend. The Arkansas track rescheduled five stakes races -- three graded stakes -- to the following weekend. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Oaklawn Park Postpones Big Weekend Stakes Cards Due to Weather

With ice and frigid temperatures in the forecast, Oaklawn Park canceled its Presidents’ Day weekend card on Wednesday, rescheduling its five stakes for the following weekend. That means horseplayers must wait another five days to see Champion 2-Year-Old Essential Quality make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 3 $750,000 Southwest […]

Midnight Bourbon leads the top four finishers of last month's Lecomte Stakes into this weekend's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. That race gives 50 points to the winner, virtually guaranteeing a Kentucky Derby spot. (Image: Hodges Photography)

Risen Star Brings Rising Derby Points to the Weekend Stakes

This weekend’s stakes races bring us Essential Quality making his 3-year-old debut in one Kentucky Derby prep. They bring us the first win-and-you’re-in Derby prep, and they bring us a Derby prep that gives the winner a berth in the Preakness Stakes. They also bring back Monomoy Girl for her […]

Caddo River used his 10 1/4-length victory in the Smarty Jones to run up the Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Kentucky Derby Futures: Big Winners Make Big Odds Leaps

The first page of this week’s Kentucky Derby futures board got tighter – partly a byproduct of two horses getting loose from their rivals last weekend. The first was Caddo River, who moved to 16/1 at Circa Sports and 15/1 at William Hill Nevada. Dropping beneath 20/1 at this point […]

In three races, Caddo River hasn't finished worse than second. He won his last race before Friday's Smarty Jones Stakes by more than a nose -- 9 1/2 lengths. (Image: Robert Yates)

Caddo River, Cowan Seeking Breakout Stakes Win in Smarty Jones

One of the seven horses entered in Friday’s Smarty Jones Stakes will get his first stakes victory. It won’t be a graded stakes victory, but not one connection will throw this one back. Nor will they throw back the 17 Kentucky Derby qualifying points up for grabs to the top […]

Despite a bout with COVID, the death of his last major owner/client and a declining stable, D. Wayne Lukas remains a presence wherever he goes. He returns to Oaklawn Park for its Winter/Spring Meet, which starts Friday. (Image: Bob Bradley)

Iconic Trainer Lukas Back in the Oaklawn Park Saddle

He remains the Lion in Winter, albeit a lion overseeing a smaller pride these days. But D. Wayne Lukas is back at Oaklawn Park. He’s back to the winter jungle he ruled for most of the 1990s, and back without many of the high-profile clients who helped put him in […]