LOS ANGELES/HOT SPRINGS, AR – TVG, America’s Horseracing Network, and Oaklawn Racing and Gaming announced today that the network will telecast the 57-day Oaklawn 2014 race meet beginning Friday, January 10, with daily, on-site, live coverage hosted by TVG’s Frank Mirahmadi.
Presenting some of the nation’s most important winter racing, highlighted by the 78th running of the Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby, the Hot Springs, Ark. oval will offer more than $20 million in purses and 31 stakes, including 10 graded contests.
“We are thrilled to add Oaklawn to our roster of premier racetrack partners,” said Don Scott, TVG’s Vice President of Marketing. “Oaklawn attracts an array of racing’s top horses and horsemen, and we plan to deliver all the excitement they will generate to our viewers and customers.”
“Oaklawn is delighted to welcome back TVG as a broadcast partner, and to have our races presented live to TVG’s knowledgeable audience across the country,” said Bobby Geiger, Director of Wagering and Gaming. “We’re offering our highest purse distribution ever and our three-year-old prep races are always among the most competitive in the country. We’re excited to have TVG on board to cover the action.”
During the past decade, Oaklawn’s program for three-year-olds has become a key indicator of Triple Crown success, with 10 Triple Crown race winners having prepped in Hot Springs, including Oxbow, who captured last year’s Preakness Stakes. This year’s four-race program kicks off with the $100,000 Smarty Jones (January 20), continues with the Grade III, $300,000 Southwest Stakes (February 17) and Grade II, $600,000 Rebel Stakes (March 15), before concluding with the Arkansas Derby (April 12) on the meet’s final day.
Also on tap are seven additional graded stakes, including the Grade I, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (April 11); Grade II, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (April 12); Grade III, $150,000 Honeybee (March 8); Grade III, $200,000 Azeri Stakes (March 15); Grade III, $200,000 Razorback Handicap (March 15); Grade III, $400,000 Fantasy (April 5) and Grade III, $300,000 Count Fleet Handicap (April 10).
In addition to presenting a strong racing program, Oaklawn also offers a variety of wagering options, including rolling Pick 3s, an early Pick 4 and superfectas on every race. Leading promotional events include 50-cent Corned Beef and 10-cent Soft Drink Day (January 12), Oaklawn Cap Giveaway Day (January 20), $55,000 Progressive Cash Giveaway Day (February 17), Boat & Truck Giveaway Day (March 15) and Racing Festival of the South (April 5-12).