when is horse racing season in hot springs arkansas

Live Horse Racing

The iconic Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas offers live Thoroughbred racing from January through April each year. The racing season is divided into two meets: the Racing Festival of the South and the Arkansas Derby.

Racing Festival of the South

  • Runs from mid-January to mid-March
  • Features allowance races, stakes races, and the prestigious Rebel Stakes

Arkansas Derby

  • Runs from mid-March to early April
  • Culminates in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, which is a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby

Live Horse Racing Calendar

MonthRacing Festival of the SouthArkansas Derby
JanuaryLive racingN/A
FebruaryLive racingN/A
MarchLive racing, Rebel StakesLive racing, Arkansas Derby
AprilN/ALive racing

Season Highlights and Events

The Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas, hosts a full-season of thoroughbred horse racing from January through April. The track offers a variety of races and events throughout the season, including:

  • The Rebel Stakes (G2)
  • The Arkansas Derby (G1)
  • The Oaklawn Handicap (G2)
  • The Southwest Stakes (G3)

The Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby are two of the most prestigious races on the Kentucky Derby prep calendar, and the Oaklawn Handicap is one of the oldest and most respected races in the country. Oaklawn also offers a variety of other events throughout the season, including:

  • Live music
  • Food and drink specials
  • Family-friendly activities
Opening DayJanuary 26, 2023
Rebel Stakes (G2)March 11, 2023
Arkansas Derby (G1)April 8, 2023
Oaklawn Handicap (G2)April 15, 2023
Closing DayApril 16, 2023

Hot Springs Racing Season

Horse racing has a long and storied history in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The city’s first racetrack, Oaklawn Park, opened in 1875 and quickly became one of the most popular tracks in the country. Oaklawn Park is still in operation today and hosts a variety of races throughout the year, including the Arkansas Derby, one of the most prestigious races in the United States.

Hot Springs Racing History

  • 1875: Oaklawn Park opens.
  • 1904: The Arkansas Derby is first run.
  • 1920s: The sport of horse racing flourishes in Hot Springs.
  • 1940s-1950s: Oaklawn Park undergoes several major renovations.
  • 1960s-1970s: Horse racing becomes less popular in Hot Springs due to competition from other gambling venues.
  • 1980s-1990s: Oaklawn Park begins to recover its popularity.
  • 2000s: Oaklawn Park becomes one of the most popular racetracks in the country.

The horse racing season in Hot Springs typically runs from late January to early May. The most popular races of the season are the Arkansas Derby, which is run in early April, and the Oaklawn Handicap, which is run in late April.

Oaklawn Park Racing Schedule
JanuaryOpening Day
FebruarySouthwest Stakes
MarchRazorback Handicap
AprilArkansas Derby
MayOaklawn Handicap

Track Information and Amenities

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas, offers a thrilling and memorable horse racing experience. The track features:

  • A one-mile dirt oval racetrack
  • A seven-furlong turf course
  • State-of-the-art facilities, including luxury suites and general admission seating
  • A variety of dining options, from casual to fine dining
  • A casino with over 2,000 slot machines and 50 table games
  • A spa and salon
  • A fitness center
  • A swimming pool

Oaklawn also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and holiday parties.

For more information on Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, please visit their website at www.oaklawn.com.

Well there ya have it, pardner! Now you know all about when the ponies are runnin’ in Hot Springs. Thanks for stickin’ with me through all that. If you’re ever in the neighborhood again, be sure to drop by and say “Howdy!” I’ll be here, rain or shine, waitin’ to share more tales of the track. Until then, keep your spurs sharp and your saddle steady!