Oaklawn Park

Diodoro Fined For Trio of Class 4 Positives at Oaklawn

Robertino Diodoro, the leading trainer at the 2020 Oaklawn Park meet by wins and the season's third-highest purse-earnings conditioner, had two winners and a fifth-place horse disqualified via a trio of Aug. 31 stewards' rulings that cited prohibited use of two different Class 4 substances detected in post-race testing. The three individual horse rulings did not impose any fines upon Diodoro. However, a separate fourth ruling docked Diodoro $3,500 for failing to meet the "absolute insurer" requirements of a trainer licensed by the Arkansas State Racing Commission. The disqualified horses...

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Oaklawn Planning 57-Day Meet with Four $1-Million Stakes Races in 2021

Pending approval from the Arkansas Racing Commission, Oaklawn plans to conduct its regular 57-day meet highlighted by four $1-million stakes races--$1-million GII Rebel S., $1-million GI Arkansas Derby, $1-million GII Oaklawn H. and $1-million GI Apple Blossom H.--and the richest purse structure in its 117-year history. The 2021 season, which will be accentuated by the opening of a multi-purpose event center and a luxury 200-room hotel overlooking the track, is scheduled to run Friday, Jan. 22--Saturday, May 1. In addition, 21 stakes will have their purses raised by at least...

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Letter to the Editor: Davant Latham

Until horses live in a laboratory environment, environmental contamination will occur...hich means zero tolerance is impossible. "Zero Tolerance" is a great soundbite, but unrealistic. The recent final disqualifications of Charlatan and Gamine from their Oaklawn victories for minute levels of lidocaine are ridiculous. A lidocaine backpatch could easily be the source of such a tiny amount, as could a simple caslick procedure on a filly or a "no itch" topical ointment. Let's also consider the amount of the banned substance in their systems. Charlatan tested positive with 46 picograms of...

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Baffert Gets 15 Days; Charlatan and Gamine DQ’d for Lidocaine Positives

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert has been suspended 15 days for previously announced lidocaine positives found in post-race samples from two runners on Oaklawn Park's May 2 card, GI Arkansas Derby division winner Charlatan (Speightstown) and allowance winner Gamine (Into Mischief). The Oaklawn Park Board of Stewards has also disqualified both horses from their wins and ordered purse monies to be redistributed in rulings dated July 14 and made public Wednesday. News of the positives first surfaced in late May, and it was revealed last week that split samples taken...

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New York Times Report: Split Sample Positive for Baffert Runners

Split samples taken from Charlatan (Speightstown) and Gamine (Into Mischief) after wins on the Arkansas Derby Day card at Oaklawn Park May 2 confirmed positive results for the local numbing agent Lidocaine, according to a report in New York Times Monday evening. Both horses are trained by Bob Baffert. Charlatan was a six-length victor in a division of the GI Arkansas Derby, while Gamine won an allowance race on the card and has since gone on to a romping victory in the GI Acorn S. A statement released by attorney...

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Milligan Promoted to VP of Racing at Oaklawn Park

Jason Milligan has been promoted to Vice President of Racing at Oaklawn Park, effective immediately. "We are so happy to have Jason step into the role of Vice President of Racing," General Manager Wayne Smith said. "Having a career of over 25 years here, 11 as Director of Operations, Jason truly knows the ins and outs of all things Oaklawn. He has worked closely and built great relationships with the racing office, racing officials, and horsemen and we look forward to the knowledge and enthusiasm he will bring." A Hot...

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Horses on Arkansas Derby Day Card Test Positive

The Arkansas Racing Commission has confirmed that two horses that raced on the May 2 card at Oaklawn Park, including one in the GI Arkansas Derby, have tested positive for an illegal substance. When reached by the TDN, Bernie Hettel, Arkansas's state steward declined to name the horses or the substance involved. He did confirm that both positives involved the same trainer and that the matter involved only one of two divisions of the Arkansas Derby. The Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman, citing "multiple sources" reported that one of the...

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Oaklawn Owner Louis Cella Joins TDN Writers’ Room

On this week's episode of the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, the writers were joined by Oaklawn Park owner and president Louis Cella to discuss the challenges and logistics of running a race meet in the coronavirus era. Oaklawn, along with Gulfstream and Tampa, have led the way for major tracks continuing operations uninterrupted through the pandemic, and Cella, as the Green Group Guest of the Week, talked about the advice they can impart as other ones start to reopen. "Some of the details that we've shared with other tracks:...

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TDN Writers’ Room May 13, 2020: Louis Cella

Oaklawn Park owner and president Louis Cella discusses the challenges and logistics of running a race meet in the coronavirus era.

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Gamine Another Mighty Oak from ‘Grand’ Acorns

It's a French word, applied to a young woman of attractively boyish features. But the naming of Gamine (Into Mischief) appears to reflect a less elfin quality; to suggest something closer to the power and masculinity of the "tomboy." For here is a young female with all the assertive virility of her barnmates Charlatan (Speightstown) and Nadal (Blame), who followed in her scalded prints when also scoring on the final card of the Oaklawn meet 10 days ago. The two colts, of course, won a division apiece of the GI...

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Making Betting More Friendly: Betty Finley Henderson

With racing's temporary opportunity as the only game in town, the TDN's Katie Ritz took a poll of some industry insiders known to like a good bet and asked them: what is one simple way that tracks could make betting more friendly for existing horseplayers and/or more effective at bringing in new players? As you'll see, none of them could stop at just one. Editor's note: Henderson, 95, has attended the races regularly at Oaklawn Park in her hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas, every year for decades until COVID-19 prevented...

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TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for May 7

After several weeks of inactivity, the 3-year-old filly division roared back to life last weekend as the GIII Fantasy S. at Oaklawn brought together a large and deep field that included five members of the TDN's GI Kentucky Oaks Top Ten. The race was dominated by two horses, Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) and Venetian Harbor (Munnings). As for the rest of the field, each one will need to regroup before they can be considered top candidates for the Oaks. On Saturday at Oaklawn, the highly regarded 'TDN Rising Star' Gamine (Into...

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