And..They're Off! Friday at Oaklawn

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - It's now less than one day before fans will hear the announcer say "And..they're off!" at Oaklawn Park.

The Hot Springs horse racing track kicks off its 114th live racing season Friday with a special 12:30 p.m. first post. 

At Oaklawn on Thursday, track officials unveiled a lasting tribute to 2015 Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The life-size bronze statue of the racing legend who began his historic campaign at Oaklawn is by artist James Peniston. It was commissioned by the late Charles Cella and is the focal point of a newly redesigned entrance to the Grandstand. The new, park-like setting will greet guests in 2018. Click here to watch the full unveiling ceremony.

The 57-day season is highlighted by $30 million in total purses, 31 stakes races and the return of the popular promotions, including the Show Bet Bonus. 

Oaklawn’s 2018 promotions begin right out of the gate with the traditional $.50 corned beef sandwiches and $.10 soft drinks Jan. 13, the first Saturday of the season and continue through the holiday weekend with an Oaklawn Cap Giveaway Monday, Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is also the day Oaklawn launches its rich 3-year-old stakes program that culminates with the $1 million Arkansas Derby with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes.

On the second holiday Monday of the year, Presidents’ Day, Feb. 19, the 3-year-olds take aim at the $500,000 Southwest Stakes and the older horses go head to head in the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3), a race that produced likely 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner last season. One day earlier, fans can win big during the $54,000 Progressive Cash Giveaway. Oaklawn will be giving away money after each race Feb. 18 starting with $2,000 after the first race on through the 9th race when $10,000 is given away.

One of Oaklawn’s most popular promotions of the live racing season, the Boat and Truck Giveaway, returns Saturday, April 7. Guests can begin registering for the contest Saturday, March 17, $900,000 Rebel Stakes Day, and must be present April 1 to win.

For the second straight year, Oaklawn will be offering the Show Bet Bonus, which makes the easiest wager in racing more profitable and fun for on-track guests only. With this bet, the payoff on show wagers made at Oaklawn will be higher than the payoff on the same show wager made off-track or through ADW services.

Special Dates:

  • Jan. 12 – Opening Day 
  • Jan. 13 – $.50 Corned Beef Day 
  • Jan. 15 – Oaklawn Cap Giveaway & $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes 
  • Feb. 19 – Presidents’ Day – $500,000 Southwest Stakes and $500,000 Razorback Handicap post
  • March 17 – $900,000 Rebel Stakes Day 
  • April 7 – Boat and Truck Giveaway 
  • April 14 – Arkansas Derby Day 

Gates open every promotion day at 11 a.m. and the first race is 1 p.m.  

Oaklawn’s 2018 live meet runs Jan. 12 – April 14 on a Thursday – Sunday basis. There is also racing on the two holiday Mondays and Wednesdays, April 4 and 11. Gates open every race day at 11 a.m., except Arkansas Derby Day when they open at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit or call (501) 623-4411.

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