Racing 101


We know that the first experience at a track can be an intimidating time, so we're here to tell you some things about racing, wagering, and Thoroughbreds, which will hopefully make your visit to Oaklawn more fun.

First, we'll tell you some things about the most beautiful animal of them all-the Horse. For example, Sunny's Halo, the first horse to win both the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbys, traces to Eclipse, one of three foundation stallions of all modern Thoroughbreds.

The Sport of Racing also has a special language of its own, so here is a glossary of terms that will help you better understand the terminology you might be hearing during your visit to Oaklawn.

Wagering is an important element in participation at the track. Oaklawn offers many types of wagers so that you can play with minimal risk or take a chance at making some "big bucks." Check out our complete wagering menu for all your options.


Once you've made it to track, there are several things you can do to help make you better informed.

  1. Purchase a track program. These are only $2 and contain information about each race.
  2. Visit the Information Booth. This is located on the first floor of the Grandstand, next to the paddock, and here you will find a friendly person, who can provide you with a wagering guide and any other information you may need.
  3. Watch the TVs. Several times a day, Paddock Analyst Nancy Holthus will come on before the races and provide her picks as well as other helpful commentary.
  4. Get a behind-the-scenes look at Thoroughbred racing by watching morning workouts and hearing from some of our top horsemen during virtual Dawn at Oaklawns.