Oaklawn sets record handle of $16M
Oaklawn Park set an all-source record handle of more than $16 million Saturday, surpassing a record set 18 years ago.
The total single-day, all-source handle of $16,159,771.31 surpassed the previous single-day handle record of $15.1 million set on Derby Day in 2000, Oaklawn officials said Monday.
Magnum Moon wowed racing fans as he crossed the finish line and claimed his place as the winner of the 82nd Arkansas Derby, and will advance to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby on May 5.
Clear skies and cool temperatures made for a pleasant day for the 64,500 fans in attendance, and despite cooler northern winds later in the day, Director of Racing David Longinotti said “folks stayed around.”
Horsemen, he said, were also “very pleased” with the meet as a whole.
“Most of what you hear from the horsemen is it’s kind of like the last day of high school — it’s bittersweet,” Longinotti said.
Even with the announcement Thursday of the new dates for the 2019 live meet, which will start later in the month, on Jan. 25, and end with the Kentucky Derby on May 4, Longinotti said Oaklawn is “still in the process of putting this season to bed.”
“As of right now, we know where the Arkansas Derby will be, and we know where the Rebel Stakes will be and the Southwest (Stakes),” he said. “I imagine those talks will start very soon, but that’s pretty much what we know right now.”
The community support of Oaklawn and its fans, he said, is something the track is always proud of.
“I always say if we can get someone to Hot Springs one time, whether they’re a racing fan or a horseman, they’re going to want to come back,” Longinotti said. “That’s always true.”