Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 31

Multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis wasted little time in returning to the work tab, breezing a half-mile in :49 2/5 Thursday morning at Oaklawn. The filly arrived in Hot Springs Sunday after returning to trainer Ingrid Mason Nov. 28 following a 30-day freshening at WinStar Farm in Kentucky, the trainer said.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 29

Don Von Hemel of Hot Springs was Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 1981. He’s not slowing down at age 81, either. Von Hemel did big things with his small stable in 2015, winning 23 of 69 starts for a gaudy 33.3 percent strike rate. Fueled by multiple stakes winners Smack Smack and Ghost Locket, Von Hemel’s stable amassed $799,887 in purse earnings – the trainer’s highest total since 2011.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 22

Jerry Hissam of Hot Springs, Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel’s agent for most of the last 24 years, said he has retired and hopes to work for Oaklawn during the 2016 live meeting that begins Jan. 15. In the meantime, retired jockey Larry Melancon, who has been Borel’s agent since this fall, will continue to book mounts for the rider.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 19

Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said Synchrony is under strong consideration for the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn, a mile race that is the first of three major local preps for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16. The lightly raced son of super sire Tapit, races for his breeder, Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stable, and is among the most highly regarded Arkansas Derby prospects on the grounds.
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PETE AIELLO SELECTED AS OAKLAWN’S NEW ANNOUNCER

Less than 48 hours after finding out they needed him, Oaklawn has hired its fifth announcer in the history of the first track to launch a Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Pete Aiello will be in the booth when Oaklawn opens for live racing on January 15. Announcers from the four corners of the continental United States expressed a desire to call races at the premier winter track, according to Director of Racing David Longinotti.
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AMERICAN PHAROAH BOBBLEHORSE GIVEAWAY TOPS 2016 PROMOTIONS

On the day Oaklawn kicks off its rich 3-year-old stakes series with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, the track will pay tribute to the greatest sophomore to come through Hot Springs with an American Pharoah Bobblehorse Giveaway. Fans attending the races Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, can receive the bobblehorse with a $2 donation to the Arkansas Racetrack Chaplaincy while supplies last.
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