Barn Area Opens Monday; Training Begins Nov. 17

Hot Springs, Ark. (Friday, Nov. 7, 2014) – Because of the record $23 million in purses available, Oaklawn received a record number of stall applications for the 2015 race that begins Friday, Jan. 9.

The track received applications for more than 2,800 stalls – nearly twice the number of horses the barn area can accommodate.

“We can house about 1,500 horses,” Racing Secretary Pat Pope said. “Of course we’re pleased with the number of applications, but what really stands out is the quality of them.” The barn area will open Monday, Nov. 10 and the track will open for training the following Monday, Nov. 17.

Among the horses expected for the 2015 meet are Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Take Charge Brandi, Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Work All Week and Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up Don’t Tell Sophia. Six-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen, who saddled Untapable to victory in the Distaff and Tapiture to a second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and winner of the 2014 Southwest Stakes, is expected to have these runners ready later in the meet after a freshening.

Horsemen returning in 2015 include Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, the trainer of Take Charge Brandi, Randy Morse, who will have Grade 1 winner Moonshine Mullin in his stable again, Ken McPeek, Steve Hobby, Chris Richard, Ron Moquett and Donnie K. Von Hemel.

Six-time Sovereign Award winning trainer Mark Casse returns for his second meet and will be joined by newcomers Wayne Catalano, Mike Stidham, Steve Margolis and Tony Dutrow, who will have horses for prominent Arkansas based owners John Ed Anthony and Alex and Joanne Lieblong, who have Grade 1 winners The Big Beast and I Spent It.

“The response we’ve had from horsemen all across the country has been very gratifying and it’s a reflection of the high quality racing we’ve had over the last few years,” Pope said. “Just as in college sports, you don’t like to count on a recruit until they suit up for the first time and we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but it’s shaping up to be one heck of a race meet.”

Oaklawn will begin the meet with Maiden Special Weight races carrying purses of $60,000, which is $5,000 per race higher than the start of last season.  Open Allowance races will have purses up to $65,000. The minimum purse will be $18,000.  

Oaklawn’s season runs through Saturday, April 11. For more information, visit www.oaklawn.com or call 1-800-OAKLAWN.

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