Complimentary Full-card Pace Chart for Saturday at Oaklawn Park

Saturday, January 13, 2024 at Oaklawn Park

Pace Makes The Race! The following pace chart is based on a unique and sophisticated algorithm to predict where each runner will be in early running of the race. Fast conditions expected in Hot Springs, AR.

Here is your complimentary Pace Chart for Saturday’s card –  Best of luck.

Oaklawn Park  Saturday January 13, 2024
Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
9.00 Furlongs / Dirt Modest 1 7-3 5-4-2 6
Race 2
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 12-11-13 8 9-7-3-1 6-14-5-10 2-4
Race 3
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest *7 3-8 5-4-1 6-2
Race 4
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 3-8-4 6-2 7 5-1
Race 5
8 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown 5-10-3 8-12-2 11-9-6-7 4-1-13
Race 6
8 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 8-3 1-9-2 7-6- 5-10 4
Race 7
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 4-2 3-6-7 1-5-10-9 8-11
Race 8
8 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 11-6 5-8-3 10-4-14-1 13-7-2-9-12
Race 9
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Slow/Modest *2 4-3 5-6-1
Race 10
8 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 6-14-3 11-7-1 5-4-12-13 2-10-8-9

Churchill Doesn’t Want Las Vegas Horseplayers Having This

Las Vegas sportsbook contestThe [Nevada Pari-Mutuel] association broke a long silence Wednesday with a statement that for the first time spelled out its version of the dispute, which has been dragging on since Oct. 27, 2019, and has prevented Nevada residents and visitors from betting on any tracks owned or represented by the company. That list includes Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn Park, Arlington Park, Louisiana Downs and other venues.

“The Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association (NPMA) is working extremely hard to reach agreements with all racetracks to ensure that all our customers have access to simulcast and the pari-mutuel pools,” the association’s executive director, Patty Jones, said in the statement. “We regularly reach agreements with a large majority of tracks with terms that allow our racebook members to offer their customers the amenities they expect, including discounted past performances, comfortable places to sit and watch multiple races, complimentary drinks and club memberships with benefits.

“However, certain tracks, including those controlled by Churchill Downs (which also negotiates on behalf of Oaklawn Park), have demanded rates to get simulcasts and pari-mutuel wagering that impact the ability of our racebook members to provide these amenities and remain profitable. The member books are unwilling to change the Nevada business model because it impacts their customers and impacts the books’ ability to be profitable and remain open through their most challenging year.”

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Feb. 1

track announcer with binocularsCheck out our AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

GULFSTREAM PARK

PARTNER’S HOPE (Race 2 at Gulfstream Park, Jan. 23, 2021) – This was a live longshot tabbed by my buddy Justin Dew over at LoneSpeed.com.  Unfortunately, the 11-1 shot was ridden by Corey Lanerie, who gives more bad rides than a 10lb bug boy.  The maiden runner began to make a huge move heading into the far turn when Lanerie rode him up on the heels of a horse, causing a hard steady and loss of 2-3 lengths in precious momentum.  He re-rallied on the inside down the lane was only beaten over  a length for all the money.  Look for this More Than Ready colt on the dirt or turf with – hopefully – a different rider up next time.

TWICE TOO MANY (Race 6 at Gulfstream Park, Jan. 28, 2021) – This well bred first time starter from the Bryan Lynch barn was bet down to 4/5 after the late scratch of the favorite.  The 3yo son of the speedy The Big Beast is bred to win early.  He’s a half a millionaire Patternrecognition, along with several other early winners.  In his debut here he broke in 4th and then moved up between horses on the far turn but the winner for Mark Casse ran away from the field.  He’ll move forward off this start and win soon for Lynch.

OAKLAWN PARK

HIDDEN SCROLL (Race 7 at Oaklawn Park, Jan. 24, 2021) – This ‘over hyped’ runner who has simply never lived up to the reputation that he garnered early in his career.  However, over the winter he moved into the barn of potent trainer Brad Cox, who as we say ‘has the Midas touch.”  He returned in a 6 furlong allowance race in the mud and had a less than ideal trip.  He was shuffled back early and then steadied briefly on the backstretch, all the time with the jock half standing up in the irons.  His feet were on the dashboard, indicating his mount was loaded for bear.  When asked, Hidden Scroll swept up 5 wide on the turn and then cruised  to an easy score.  Next up a return to stakes company.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

SUCCESSFUL LEGACY (Race 3 at Tampa Bay, Jan. 9, 2021) – 3yo filly making third lifetime start and only 2nd on the dirt looked like a winner in deep stretch but was run down by her stablemate.  Gerald Bennett runner can dirt or turf.

JOE MAN JOE ( (Race 6 at Tampa Bay, Jan. 9, 2021) – The son of Uncle Mo closed like a freight train in his maiden breaking win at Tampa early in the meet, and then came back here to run a very nice 2nd on the turf behind a well meant Michael Trombettea runner that shipped up from Gulfstream Park.    Figures tough at 1x level on dirt or turf next out.

Make horse racing at Louisiana Downs great again

Louisiana horse racingLetter to the Editor of the Shreveport Times in Louisiana:

“Getting ready to go to Louisiana Downs for opening day at Oaklawn last week. Oaklawn [Park] is one of the top tracks in the nation and the track that I am about to go to used to be one as well.

Louisiana Downs has fell off so bad from the way it was in late ’70s and throughout most of the ’80s and ’90s. When the casinos arrived the racetrack begin its decline to where we find it today.

The biggest race held at Louisiana Downs is the Super Derby. It used to draw top horses now it should be called the Uper Derby case it has been hit with kryptonite.

Louisiana Downs can can come back to its heyday if it only had the right people at the helm. Please Harrah’s do something, there are people who still love the track for more than going to the casino.”

Gene Green

Shreveport

Covid-19 and Horse Racing. Some Fans Allowed at Oaklawn Park

Oaklawn 2019 - The Inside TrackPursuant to the Arkansas Department of Health directive, Oaklawn plans to conduct the 2021 live meet with limited spectators. The 57-day season runs from Friday, Jan. 22 – Saturday, May 1.

“We’ve been working on plans covering numerous scenarios and we’re happy to announce we will be welcoming back race fans in 2021, albeit on a limited basis,” General Manager Wayne Smith said. “We know that the fans are what make Oaklawn so special, but our main concern is for the safety and well-being of our guests and team members. We appreciate the support we have received from the Arkansas Department of Health in developing this plan. We will be working with them throughout the live season and will adjust as needed.”

In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Arkansas Department of Health, Oaklawn has submitted a plan to allow a limited number of spectators at the races during the 2021 live race meet highlighted by the following:

• General admission into the Grandstand will not be allowed initially in 2021.
• Entrance into the Grandstand will strictly be for guests with a racing credential and/or reservation for that day’s races. Doors will open at 11 am.
• Current seasonal box seat holders and current Oaklawn Jockey Club members may enter the Grandstand with weekly reservations required. Detailed correspondence to be sent separately to these individuals.
• Restaurants inside the Grandstand, following Arkansas Department of Health directives, will be open to the public with weekly reservations required.
• Simulcast will be open Wednesday–Sunday, 11 am–8 pm to limited capacity with weekly reservations required.
• Social distancing will be enforced.
• All guests and team members will be required to have non-invasive temperature checks as they enter the facility. Anyone presenting a temp at/over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted inside the building.
• All guests and team members will be required to wear masks at all times.
• Smoking will not be allowed anywhere inside the facility, including the casino.

Restaurant reservations may be made starting January 18 by calling 501-363-4710.

Simulcast reservations may be made starting January 18 by calling 501-363-4320.

For additional details and future updates, please visit oaklawn.com.

Source: Oaklawn Park

The New Normal. It Could Work Everywhere

How could the tracks that have raced without spectators make it work so well when others ran into the corner with fear?

COVID-19 and horse racing

By ART PARKER

About a month ago I whined about so many tracks not following the lead set by Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream, and especially Oaklawn Park regarding the coronavirus. These tracks and a couple of smaller ones carried on racing without spectators. My complaint was simple. If we race without patrons very little will be different than the days when there is no racing at all. Open the doors, be diligent with all precautions regarding the coronavirus, let the patrons play online, and let’s run.

Part of my reasoning is that we already have 85%-90% of our handle from online wagering, or so I am told by several experts. There is no doubt in my mind that this percentage will only increase in the future. One thing for sure, right now, relying upon online wagering is the only option.

Tampa Bay Downs grandstand copyright AGameofSkill.com

copyright AGameofSkill.com

Just consider the following two excerpts I read the other day. First from America’s Best Racing: “Records shattered-On April 18, Oaklawn’s handle was $19 million, breaking the record set last year on Rebel Stakes day. Arkansas Derby day more than doubled that record, with $41,007,201 wagered.”

From The Blood Horse: “Fonner Park, while conducting spectator-less racing since that date in a state that does not permit ADW wagering, —all handle is coming from out-of-state—wagering has averaged $2.43 million. Those figures do not include the phenomenal $7.26 million bet Tuesday, April 5 when the track’s popular Dinsdale Pick 5 Jackpot wager featured a mandatory payout pool of $4.2 million. In short, wagering is about 10 times the previous norm.”

The bottom line is that most places missed the boat, and, generally speaking, it was because of terrible government decisions. I could only imagine how well Woodbine could have done with their normal mid-April opening since reasonably nearby markets New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago were closed (especially New York).

Oaklawn is not necessarily one of the real big boys but they are far from one of the little guys. I salute them for stepping up to the plate, and I imagine they feel good about it when reviewing their handle figures.

I’m happy for a little track like Fonner Park. The Nebraska bullring stepped up and provided a product to the overall market and knocked it out of the park with handle.

As I have said before, we missed a generation or so when the thoroughbred industry shied away from television. COVID-19 provided the industry an opportunity to go into every home and office (and cell phone) in North America and expand its share of the sports and entertainment market. I can hear it now, “There’s nothing to do since the concert has been canceled.” “Oh yeah? I’m staying home so I can play the Pick Four at Woodbine.”

How could the tracks that have raced without spectators make it work so well when others ran into the corner with fear?

I just looked over my list of tracks that say they will open within thirty days. I’m glad to hear it. I hope they do open and others follow suit.

The time is now. We really missed a chance to get ahead and make up for lost ground in the last couple of months.

Now, as many areas begin to open up we have to try and survive, again.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – April 23

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes, compliments of Agameofskill.com

GULFSTREAM PARK

COWTOWN (Race 10 at Gulfstream Park, 4/17/2020) – First time turf runner overcame a brutal trip to storm home late as a better-than-it looks winner in the finale.  The son of Tonalist was in traffic throughout, was knocked off stride down the lane, but quickly recovered to burst home in the final furlong.

EAGLES PALACE (Race 10 at Gulfstream Park, 4/17/2020) – Another first time turf runner from the same race as winner Cowtown.  This colt was bumped hard around the first turn.  Around the final turn he was blocked and steadied.  Recovered to rally wide but flattened out late.  Can improve off that effort for trainer Bill Mott.

Did you read Handicapping Tip #53 – Love Them Before You Bet Them.

OAKLAWN PARK

FLAGSTAFF (Race 8 at Oaklawn Park, 4/18/2020) – This guy broke awkwardly, spotting the field 2-3 lengths.  Was trailing the field early on and was actually steadied briefly at the 5/8th pole, further compromising any chance of winning.  Despite that, Flagstaff absolutely blew by the field down the stretch and just missing catching up with 3x Count Fleet Sprint winner Whitmore at the wire.  Impressive performance in defeat.

HOROLOGIST (Race 10 at Oaklawn Park, 4/18/2020) – The 2019 Monmouth Oaks winner wasn’t going to win the G1 Apple Blossom but she lost all chance when rallied into a wall of horses at the top of the lane. From there she had no where to run and actually finished sneaky well to end up in the front half of the field.  Could be a sneaky play next out in the right spot.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – March 2

track announcer with binocularsHorses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGOS visitors. Agameofskill.com is an educational website for horse racing fans and handicappers.  Thank you for visiting.

GULFSTREAM PARK

TOOK A CAB (Race 2 @GP, Feb. 26, 2020) –  This cheap maiden claimer had run against the bias back on Feb. 7th and returned in a winnable spot here.  Unfortunately, after new rider Jaramillo sent him to the lead he dueled with another horse.  He finally put that one away but those efforts took it’s toll in the final 1/16th of a mile.  Eligible to win back in the right spot.

NEW HOPE ROAD (Race 4 @GP, Feb. 26, 2020) – Quality Road filly closed belatedly for third behind the top 2 logical horses in first start since June. Barn only 8% off long layoffs so she could improve next out.

Racing News: Churchill Downs’ stock upgraded

FREUDIAN FINISH (Race 9 @GP, Feb. 20) – Returned off a layoff for trainer Brendan Walsh and nearly pulled off a big upset.  Got run down late by a sharp closer.  There’s a reason Tyler G. took this mount.  Can move forward off this strong performance.

OAKLAWN PARK

WAR VETERAN (Race 5 @OP, Feb. 27, 2020) – This four year old is rounding into sharp form for the Ron Moquet barn.  4yo sat a great trip stalking the leading duo before taking over and drawing off as much the best.  Should handle the rise to “3 life” company next time out at Oaklawn Park.

SAM HOUSTON

ALWAYS INTHE MUNNY (Race 5 @HOU, Feb. 26, 2020) – 3yo Munnings filly was making only her third start and first for a new barn.  She ran a huge race, giving the odds-on favorite everything she could handle.  Also sports a nice turf pedigree, so watch for dirt or turf.

A Preview of the Oaklawn 2019 Meet

I enjoy going to Oaklawn Racing and Gaming on warm, sunny days when it’s nice to be outside watching the horses run. This was not one of those days. It was 39 degrees and the wind was whipping my hair around as I stood just outside the trainers’ stand. But the early morning sun was streaming low across the track and horses are beautiful creatures in any weather. Cold or not, I was excited to be here. It was just before Christmas – over a month before opening day of the 2019 racing season – but 807 horses, nearly half of those expected, were already on the grounds. I’d arrived at 7:30 a.m. to watch them run and discuss some highlights of this 115th year of Oaklawn – a year to go down in the history books for sure.

“There is definitely a buzz in the air going into this season,” said Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hoyt.

Some big announcements have been coming out of Oaklawn in recent months, most notably a $100 million-plus expansion. One of the largest hospitality investments in Arkansas’ history, it will include the construction of a high-rise hotel, an event center, and an expanded gaming area. Work on the project will begin following the completion of the 2019 racing season but there are several exciting things to look forward to this season as well, including three new stakes races and a shift in the 2019 racing schedule…

Oaklawn Racing and Gaming Announce Big Expansion

OAKLAWN ANNOUNCES $100 MILLION-PLUS EXPANSION WITH CONSTRUCTION OF HIGH-RISE HOTEL, EVENT CENTER AND EXPANDED GAMING AREA

Oaklawn Racing and Gaming today announced plans to build an expansion project in excess of $100 million that includes the construction of a high-rise hotel, multi-purpose event center, a larger gaming area, and additional on-site parking.

The project is one of the largest hospitality investments in the history of Arkansas.

“This historic announcement represents a new chapter in the rich 114-year history of Oaklawn,” said Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn Jockey Club. “As we enhance the entertainment experience for our customers, we will also further elevate thoroughbred racing and help make Arkansas and Hot Springs even stronger regional tourism destinations.”

The yet-to-be-named hotel will be seven stories with 200 rooms, including two presidential suites. Amenities will include an outdoor swimming pool, a luxury spa, fitness center and restaurant.

“The hotel will offer a unique vantage point for our patrons in that it will overlook the track. Imagine the spectacular view as the horses are heading down the stretch,” said Cella. “Our goal is to achieve 4-star status.”

Adjacent to the hotel will be a 14,000 square-foot multi-purpose events center that will accommodate up to 1,500 people for various events such as concerts, meetings, banquets and weddings.

The project also includes the addition of approximately 28,000 square feet of gaming space and significantly expanded parking.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the Oaklawn expansion will be monumental.

“The state of Arkansas is grateful to Louis and his family for their commitment to growing their business right here at home,” said Gov. Hutchinson. “This project, which will be financed exclusively with private funds, not only represents one of, if not the largest, tourism related expansion projects in our history, it will also rank among the state’s largest economic development projects in 2019.”

Kane Webb, director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, says the Oaklawn expansion will create more success stories for Arkansas’ thriving tourism industry.

“Hot Springs is already one of the top tourism destinations in the South,” said Webb. “This expansion will thrust Hot Springs into the category of the nation’s elite vacation and recreation locations.”

Oaklawn Park new designCella says the development will create new partnership opportunities with the city of Hot Springs in that marketing efforts will be designed to complement those of the city’s. He says while various on-site amenities will be offered, Oaklawn will want guests to enjoy all that Hot Springs has to offer including Hot Springs National Park, lakes, hiking and biking trails, museums, restaurants, shopping and more.

Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission, says the events center and hotel rooms will be beneficial to Hot Springs and Arkansas.

“Oaklawn’s project will allow Hot Springs to attract more and larger meetings and conventions,” said Arrison. “This creates exciting opportunities for Hot Springs tourism.”

An expansion project of this magnitude, Cella says, requires years of planning and the development of infrastructure.

“While one may assume that today’s announcement comes in response to the passage of Issue 4 on November 6, we actually began planning for this during our last expansion in 2014,” said Cella. “Our goal then, as it is now, is to use a quality gaming experience to enhance racing and help attract even more great champions to Arkansas such as Smarty Jones, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah.”

Construction on the project will begin in May immediately following completion of the 2019 racing season. The target completion date for the gaming expansion is January 2020 with the hotel and event center to be completed in late 2020.

As it has for two previous Oaklawn projects, HBG Design of Memphis is the architectural firm for this new expansion.

Flintco Construction, with an Arkansas headquarters located in Springdale, is the contractor on the project. The company estimates that as many as 2,300 jobs will be created during the construction phase.

“The Cellas helped found Oaklawn in the early 1900’s,” said Wayne Smith, general manager of Oaklawn. “As they have for more than a century, the family continues to make significant investments in Arkansas. This will be the third major project at Oaklawn since 2008.”

This major expansion represents the second significant announcement at Oaklawn since Louis Cella succeeded his late father, Charles, as president of Oaklawn Jockey Club last December.

In April of this year, Oaklawn announced it will shift its racing season later in the calendar and for the first time will continue racing into May. It’s the biggest change in the traditional Oaklawn racing schedule since World War II.

Oaklawn Park Expansion Project Fact Sheet

About the project:
Oaklawn is investing in excess of $100 million to further elevate thoroughbred racing and make Oaklawn and Hot Springs an even stronger regional tourism destination.
The Oaklawn expansion will be one of the largest hospitality investments in the history of Arkansas.
This is a private investment. No public dollars are being used.
The project will focus on five main areas:
Enhanced racing experience
4-star hotel and spa
Multi-purpose event center
Expanded gaming area
Additional on-site parking
This expansion project has been in the planning stages since 2014.
This will be Oaklawn’s third major construction project since 2008.
About the hotel/multi-purpose event center:
The hotel will be 7 stories tall with 200 luxury rooms, including two presidential suites.
The goal is for the hotel to achieve 4-star status.
The hotel will offer patrons a unique vantage point in that it will overlook the racetrack on one side with a beautiful view of the lakes and mountains on the other.
Room rates will be competitive with other properties of this quality.

The Oaklawn Park hotel will include:
outdoor swimming pool
luxury spa
fitness center
restaurant
multi-purpose event center
individual meeting rooms
The 14,000 square-foot multi-purpose event center will accommodate up to 1,500 people for events ranging from concerts, to meetings, to banquets, to weddings.
Oaklawn is working with the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission to ensure that the multi-purpose event center compliments efforts of the Hot Springs convention center and arena. The partnership will help attract more and larger meetings and conventions to the city.
The project includes expanded on-site parking to accommodate more vehicles.
A shuttle service will be available to transport patrons from their vehicles to the facility. Shuttle stops will be strategically located throughout the parking areas.

About the Oaklawn Park gaming expansion:
The new expansion will add approximately 28,000 square-feet of gaming space.
The enhanced gaming experience will allow Oaklawn to provide larger purses to help attract the top thoroughbreds joining a long line of champions such as Smarty Jones, Zenyatta and American Pharoah.

About the construction:
HBG Design of Memphis is the architectural firm on the project. This will represent the firm’s third expansion design for Oaklawn.
Flintco Construction, with Arkansas headquarters located in Springdale, is the contractor on the project. Flintco has managed major construction projects all over Arkansas.
Construction will begin in May, immediately following the completion of the 2019 racing season.

Target completion dates:
Gaming expansion – January 2020
Hotel and multi-purpose event center – Late 2020

About economic impact:
Oaklawn’s reputation as a year-round tourism destination will be enhanced. Hotel guests will have easy access to Hot Springs National Park, area lakes, hiking and biking trails, museums, amusement parks, and restaurants representing a significant economic impact to the city of Hot Springs and the state of Arkansas.
Flintco estimates that as many as 2,300 construction jobs will be created during the construction phase.
Though a specific number is still under consideration, Oaklawn anticipates several hundred additional jobs will be created in expanded areas.

About the Oaklawn principals:
Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn Jockey Club, succeeded his late father, Charles, in December 2017. The Cella family were among the founding partners in Oaklawn in the early 1900s. Louis is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, past Chairman of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Foundation, Director of the UAMS Foundation Fund Board and Director of the Myeloma Institute. Louis’ wife, Rochelle Dean, is from England, Arkansas.
Wayne Smith, general manager of Oaklawn, joined the racetrack in 2016 with extensive experience in working with resort properties around the world for ITT-Sheraton, MGM Grand and Caesar’s Entertainment. He also worked for Empire City Racing and Gaming in New York and Penn Gaming in Illinois.

Source: Oaklawn Park