Oaklawn Park

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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Letter to the Editor: Michael Antoniades

If you are a fan of horse racing, the earth moved on Saturday. It's a new world. There are no sports to watch or wager on, and a growing spotlight is on horse racing, especially on the weekends where we have been getting expanded television coverage. Last Saturday, the cooperation between two tracks on Arkansas Derby Day took horse racing as a business and a viewing experience to another level. On Saturday May 2, Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park worked together and coordinated their actual off times. The two tracks...

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Can Anyone Beat Baffert? It Seems Unlikely

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley The GI Kentucky Derby is a long way off and a lot can happen between now and Sept. 5, but after what went down Saturday at Oaklawn Park, it looks like the only question left to be answered is which Bob Baffert-trained horse will win the Derby? That's not getting ahead of ourselves or hyperbole. After what happened Saturday in the split divisions of the GI Arkansas Derby, it's stating the obvious. In Nadal (Blame), Charlatan (Speightstown) and Authentic (Into Mischief), he trains...

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A Leading ‘Lady’ for Sikura, Hill ‘n’ Dale

Hailing from the same shedrow of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen isn't the only thing that recent, ultra-impressive Oaklawn Park winners Casual (f, 3, by Curlin) and Volatile (c, 4, by Violence) have in common. The promising duo--both bred in Kentucky by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. and Stretch Run Ventures, LLC--trace their lineage back to the millionaire and brilliant two-time Saratoga Grade I winner and the Asmussen-trained Lady Tak (Mutakddim). After acquiring an interest privately in the GI Test S. and GI Ballerina H. heroine from owners...

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Baffert Does It Again; Nadal Aces Second Division of Arkansas Derby

Just about an hour and 15 minutes after his stablemate and fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Charlatan (Speightstown) dazzled in the first division of the GI Arkansas Derby, Nadal (Blame) provided Hall of Famer Bob Baffert with a clean sweep of the split Oaklawn feature. The bay scored a good-looking victory in what was considered the deeper edition of Saturday's Arkansas Derby, securing his spot in the gate for the Sept. 5 Run for the Roses. Anxious in the gate, Nadal was away in good order from post five as GII...

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Charlatan Runs Them Off Their Feet in Arkansas Derby

From the moment Charlatan (Speightstown) crossed the wire in his impressive Feb. 16 unveiling at Santa Anita, people started comparing him to Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), who also made his first racetrack appearance in February of his 3-year-old year. The Bob Baffert-trained chestnut followed that effort with an allowance win going two turns, like Justify. While that Horse of the Year went on to win the GI Santa Anita Derby next out, before taking home the roses on the First Saturday in May of 2018, Charlatan was forced...

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