Oaklawn Stakes Shift 1/18/24


HOT SPRINGS, AR – The extreme winter weather that forced the cancellation of four racing days has inspired Oaklawn management to shift some of its most important stakes races.

Stakes races originally scheduled to be run Saturday, Jan. 27 – the $800,000 G3-Southwest, $250,000 Martha Washington, $150,000 King Cotton and $150,000 American Beauty – will now headline an 11-race card to be run Saturday, Feb. 3.

Originally scheduled for January 20, the $150,000 Fifth Season will be run Saturday, Jan. 27, and the $250,000 G3-Bayakoa, which was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3., will be run a day earlier on Friday, Feb. 2.

“The Southwest and Martha Washington are important preps for our 3-year-old stakes program,” Oaklawn President Louis Cella said. “They are also important points races for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. It is important for our horsemen to have ample opportunities to train their horses properly for the races. Not only has this winter weather forced us to cancel racing, but our horsemen have also missed some training days.”

A 1 1/16-miles event for 3-year-olds, the $800,000 G3-Southwest offers a total of 42 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top five finishers (20-10-6-4-2). Its 3-year-old filly counterpart, the 8 ½-furlong $250,000 Martha Washington, offers the same qualifying point structure for the Kentucky Oaks.

On Oaklawn’s stakes schedule, the G3-Southwest leads to the $1.25 million G2-Rebel February 24, followed by the 1 1/8-miles $1.5 million G1-Arkansas Derby on March 30. The Martha Washington is the local prep for the Feb. 24 $400,000 G3-Honeybee, which serves as prep for the $750,000 G2-Fantasy, also scheduled for March 30.

The $150,000 King Cotton, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up, leads to the $250,000 G3-Whitmore on March 16 and ultimately to the $500,000 G3-Count Fleet Sprint Handicap April 13. The $150,000 American Beauty is a six-furlong race for older fillies and mares. Other older female sprints on Oaklawn’s stakes schedule are the $150,000 Carousel (Feb. 24) and $250,000 Matron (March 30).

A 1 1/16-miles race for older fillies and mares, the G3-Bayakoa serves as a prep for the March 9 $400,000 G2-Azeri, which leads to the $1.25 million G1-Apple Blossom April 13.

In all, Oaklawn will offer a record $16.2 million in stakes purses and more than $60 million in total purses, during the 2023-2024 racing season, which is scheduled to run through Saturday, May 4.

Located in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Oaklawn is one of the premiere Thoroughbred racetracks in the country since 1904, best known as home of the Arkansas Derby. The casino features slots, live table games, and sports betting year-round. Live racing held Dec-May and simulcast racing throughout the year. Come visit the Oaklawn hotel, multi-purpose event center, state-of-the-art spa, and several dining options. Oaklawn.com, 1-800-OAKLAWN.