A day at the races

Story and photos by Bill Patterson

Oaklawn Park opened on February 1905. The city declared a holiday to mark the occasion, and more than 3,000 people attended the first day of racing. 

Live racing at Oaklawn still runs from January to May more than 100 years later in Hot Springs. Oaklawn’s racing season is highlighted by the Arkansas Derby, which is a leading prep race for horse racing’s Triple Crown.  

I made my first trip to Oaklawn during my college years.  To this day, I enjoy going to Oaklawn Park for the beauty of the horses.  These majestic animals are a joy to experience.  I also enjoy watching the interaction of owners, trainers and jockeys all doing their best to reach the winner’s circle. The excitement and anticipation of the race never fails to get your heart pumping. That is why there is nothing better than a beautiful spring day at Oaklawn Park.