16th Annual Oaklawn Kick-Off Banquet Set for November 29, 2023

(NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR) The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the 16th Annual Oaklawn Kick-off Banquet on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception. Dinner, program, and live auction will follow starting at 6:45 p.m. with Master of Ceremonies Rex Nelson.

The featured speaker will be American horse trainer William I. “Bill” Mott. The program will also feature the presentation of the Jack Van Berg Horse Racing Award to Bill Walmsley, president of the Arkansas HBPA.

Bill Mott’s career began in his home state of South Dakota, where he owned and trained horses with other members of his family. One of Mott's earliest victories came at age 16, when his horse, Kosmic Tour, won the South Dakota Futurity at Park Jefferson.

By the early 1970s, Mott was working with Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg while also holding his own head trainer’s license. In 1978, Mott opened his own public stable.

A three-time Eclipse Award winner — 1995, 1996, and 2011 — Mott trained Hall of Fame member Cigar through a streak of 16 consecutive victories, including the inaugural Dubai World Cup in 1996. Cigar won a total of 15 stakes and was voted Horse of the Year in 1995 and 1996. He was retired with record earnings of $9,999,815. Mott also trained Hall of Fame member Royal Delta, winner of three Eclipse Awards. Other champions trained by Mott include Ajina, Channel Maker, Cody's Wish, Elite Power, Escena, Paradise Creek, and Theatrical.

In 2010, Mott won his first Triple Crown race when Drosselmeyer won the Belmont Stakes. In 2019, he won the Kentucky Derby with Country House. Mott has won 15 Breeders’ Cup races, including five editions of the Distaff, and the Classic twice.

Mott has won 10 training titles at Belmont and nine each at Saratoga, Churchill Downs, and Gulfstream.

Through Breeders' Cup 2023, Mott has won 5,362 races (No. 8 all time) with purse earnings of $339,189,915 (No. 4 all time).


Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer — 1995, 1996, 2011

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 2019 Kentucky Derby — Country House

Won the 2010 Belmont Stakes — Drosselmeyer

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 1987 Turf — Theatrical

Won the 1992 Turf — Fraise

Won the 1995 Classic — Cigar

Won the 1997 Distaff — Ajina

Won the 1998 Distaff — Escena

Won the 2010 Ladies' Classic — Unrivaled Belle

Woon the 2011 Ladies' Classic — Royal Delta

Won the 2011 Classic — Drosselmeyer

Won the 2012 ladies' Classic — Royal Delta

Won the 2016 Mile — Tourist

Won the 2022 Dirt Mile — Cody's Wish

Won the 2022 Sprint — Elite Power

Won the 2023 Juvenile Fillies — Just F Y I

Won the 2023 Dirt Mile — Cody's Wish

Won the 2023 Sprint — Elite Power

A table of ten is $750 and individual tickets are $80. Tickets can be purchased online at www.nlrchamber.org or by contacting the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce at 501-372-5959. Seating is limited.

The event is presented by Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort and in partnership with Frank Fletcher Racing, CJRW, Mainstream Technologies, CHI St. Vincent, Little Rock Coaches, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, and North Little Rock Economic Development.

About the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce

The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce mission is to serve members by implementing programs and services that stimulate economic, community and workforce development in North Little Rock.

The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce is the driving force for economic development and quality of life issues in Central Arkansas. Today, the North Little Rock Chamber remains strong with over 1200 members and is the fourth largest Chamber in the state of Arkansas. The North Little Rock Chamber has continued to grow, be successful, remain financially sound and be a positive economic force in the community.

For more information, visit www.nlrchamber.org or contact the Chamber at 501.372.5959. ###