Arkansas Derby to again highlight Oaklawn season


The Sports Network

Hot Springs, AR ( - Oaklawn Park's 2015 racing season will again be highlighted by the $1 million Arkansas Derby with the Kentucky Derby prep coming on the track's closing card.

Oaklawn's 2015 season will begin Friday, Jan. 9 and end Saturday, April 11. The historic track will run 31 stakes worth $6,675,000.

"I am continually impressed by what we've been able to accomplish the past several years," Director of Racing David Longinotti said.

The Arkansas Derby is the culmination of Oaklawn's stakes series for 3-year- olds on the Kentucky Derby trail.

The race series for 3-year-olds gets underway with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at a mile on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 19, followed by the 1 1/16-mile, $300,000 Southwest Stakes on President's Day, Feb. 16.

The 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes now has a purse of $750,000, up from $600,000. The Rebel, won in 2013 by Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge, will go off on Saturday, March 14, four weeks ahead of the 79th Arkansas Derby.

"The timing of the Rebel and the quality of its field for the past several runnings makes it an important Triple Crown prep in its own right," Longinotti said. "It is very deserving of a purse increase."

On the Arkansas Derby card will be the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap for older horses, won this year by Will Take Charge. Older fillies and mares will compete in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on Friday, April 10. This year's leading older female Close Hatches captured the Apple Blossom over 2013 champ On Fire Baby.

"Last year, we were also able to boost the purse of both the Apple Blossom and the Oaklawn Handicap by $100,000 each and we're pleased to be able to keep those purses at the $600,000 level for 2015," noted Longinotti.

Read more Horse Racing stories from the Miami Herald

  • California Chrome returns in 35th PA Derby

    California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will become the first Run for the Roses champ to start in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby as he leads a field of eight into Saturday's 1 1/8-mile race at Parx Racing.

  • Untapable brings celebrity to Cotillion Stakes

    Top ranked 3-year-old filly Untapable gets back to her own division on Saturday as she faces eight other fillies in Parx Racing's $1 million Cotillion Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

  • Woodbine Mile goes to Trade Storm

    Trade Storm made a successful return from overseas Sunday to capture the $1 million Woodbine Mile, a race he was third last year.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category