Category: Oaklawn Park

2019 Arkansas Derby Preview

This weekend, Picks and Ponderings take s a look at the final pair of Kentucky Derby prep races.  This piece focuses on the Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn’s final station on its spur of the Derby trail, is as big a Derby prep as can be: $1,000,000 purse, Grade 1 status, and 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers. ... Read more »

2019 Rebel Stakes Preview

Oaklawn’s spur of the Derby trail continues this Saturday with the Rebel Stakes. Originally slated as a race with a $1,000,000 purse and Kentucky Derby points allotted 50-20-10-5 to its top four finishers, the number of horses pointed to the Rebel mushroomed after the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita was cancelled.  In response, Oaklawn... Read more »

2018 Arkansas Derby Preview

Saturday, the Kentucky Derby trail comes to an end.  This piece focuses on the final race of the Hot Springs spur of the Derby trail, the Arkansas Derby.  Keeneland also hosts a last-minute 20-point prep, the Lexington Stakes (G3), which we visit in a separate piece.  Friday’s Oaklawn card also features the track’s final Oaks... Read more »
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2018 Fantasy Stakes Preview

Both the Kentucky Derby trail and the Kentucky Oaks trail meet their ends this weekend.  This piece shines a light on the Fantasy Stakes (G3), the final points prep for the Kentucky Oaks.  In addition to previewing the Fantasy Stakes, we also look at the final Kentucky Derby points preps in separate pieced: the Arkansas Derby... Read more »

2018 Rebel Stakes Preview

Oaklawn’s spur of the Derby trail continues this Saturday with the Rebel Stakes.  The race offers a purse of $900,000, in addition to Road to the Kentucky Derby points (50-20-10-5) for its top four finishers. Inaugurated in 1961, the Rebel Stakes currently serves as the third of four steps on Oaklawn’s road to the Kentucky Derby. ... Read more »

2018 Honeybee Stakes Preview

This year marks the 30th running of the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park.  It has always been a 1 1/16 mile race for three-year-old fillies.  It first earned a grade 3 rating in 1990, and has carried that status every year except for 2003-2007, during which it was once again ungraded.  This year’s renewal offers a... Read more »
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2018 Southwest Stakes Preview

We’ve already visited the Big Easy and the City by the Bay this weekend — but with Presidents’ Day on Monday, the Derby trail winds to Oaklawn Park for the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes, the second of four preps during this winter’s Hot Springs meet.  Though the Kentucky Derby points haul isn’t huge — it’s the final... Read more »

2018 Martha Washington Stakes Preview

Saturday’s card at Oaklawn features the second stakes of the season for three-year-old fillies: the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes.  Opening day featured the six-furlong Dixie Belle, but the Martha Washington’s one-mile distance begins to bring out those fillies who may be able to stretch out for later preps, or even the nine-furlong Oaks itself. In... Read more »

2018 Smarty Jones Stakes Preview

The Smarty Jones is a one-mile dirt race, the first in a series of Kentucky Derby preps over the Hot Springs oval.  The series continues with the Southwest Stakes (G3) on February 19, the Rebel Stakes (G2) on March 17, and the Arkansas Derby (G1) on the final day of the meet, April 14.  The... Read more »
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2017 Fantasy Stakes and Arkansas Derby Preview

The Derby and Oaks prep seasons draw to a close this weekend in Hot Springs. Friday’s card at Oaklawn features the Fantasy Stakes (G3).  The Hot Springs spur of the Oaks trail has been wide open, and this year’s Fantasy field reflects that — twelve fillies will take their shot, and the field lacks a clear... Read more »