Oaklawn Park Horse Racing and Things to Do in the Town

Oaklawn Park new designAs Oaklawn’s longer 2021-2022 Thoroughbred season continues through May 7, it’s also possible via bad luck or bad gambling (or both) to find that you’ve lost all the money budgeted for the day — and perhaps a wad more.

If your day’s betting budget has evaporated, one head-clearing option is a walk or drive north along Central Avenue to sample some of Hot Springs’ varied attractions that are free or cost just a piffle…

Small samples of Ouachita Mountains water are free at Mountain Valley Spring Company Visitor Center and Museum, at 150 Central Ave. Larger amounts of the elixir, which has been tapped and sold since 1871, are for sale. The museum, mostly on the second floor, pictures U.S. presidents and other famous folks with Mountain Valley bottles close at hand. Elvis Presley is shown as a devoted enthusiast.

There’s a nostalgia fix for fans of the sport that once reigned as Our National Pastime. You can follow the Historic Baseball Trail, playing on the fact that Hot Springs hosted major-league spring training from 1886 through the 1920s. Twenty-eight plaques are scattered around the city. They celebrate Dizzy and Daffy Dean, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Cy Young and other bygone stars.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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