Bobby Zen

The Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously approved 65 dates for Oaklawn Park’s 2024-2025 racing season Monday morning and three additional December dates as well as another holiday Monday highlight the schedule, Oaklawn Park officials announced via presser Friday.

Set to start Dec. 6 and run until May 3, the season will again be conducted primarily Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was tweaked from last season due to calendar changes and business trends including a dark day Apr. 20 in observance of Easter and Feb. 9 being dropped on account of the Super Bowl. Thursdays in March and April were also omitted and the Dec. 20-22 dates fall immediately before Christmas; Oaklawn had previously been dark on that race week.

“Arkansas and Oaklawn lead the nation in a lot of things innovative,” Oaklawn president Louis Cella said. “Our fans respond to weekend racing. When you look at other tracks, their non-weekend days are very slow. We’re hearing many tracks are going to follow suit. Unfortunately, I think that’s just horse racing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have big, great race weekends, as you saw in our season this year.”

Oaklawn will also race Jan. 20 on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; Feb. 17 on Presidents’ Day; and will not have racing on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day as they fall on Tuesday and Wednesday, which normally are dark days. There had been cards exclusively for 2-year-olds on New Year’s Eve for the last two years and the Smarty Jones S. had been contested New Year’s Day for the last three.

While nothing has been set in stone, Cella did mention in the presser that making the Smarty Jones a Kentucky Derby points race for 2-year-olds was on the table.

“That’s a possibility,” Cella said. “You flip them. You have a 2-year-old day, but you just stack up the stakes.”

GI Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan (Goldencents) finished fifth in the 2024 running of the Smart Jones S. before returning to win the GIII Southwest S. and run third in the GI Arkansas Derby en route to claiming his rose blanket. GI Kentucky Oaks victress Thorpedo Anna (Fast Anna) won the GII Fantasy S. on her way to the lilies in 2024.

The post Oaklawn Park’s 2024-2025 Live Racing Schedule to Include Additional Dates appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Got questions? Please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you asap.

Join Bobby's Newsletter

Enter your email to sign up for Bobby’s newsletter get new racing tips right in your inbox.