Hot Springs On The GO!
Imay have exhausted this story for several people, but humor me as I share one of my favorite childhood memories of growing up in a town that loves racing as much as Hot Springs. When I was little, on the mornings we got an early start to school, mom would take me to see the horses train. We would sit in her car, parked on a small patch of dirt on Talisman Street as horses galloped by, silhouetted by the sun coming up over the track at Oaklawn Park. To this day, if I get an early start on chilly mornings in January, I'll park there and watch them race by.
This live meet is a particularly exciting one for Oaklawn, coming on the heels of the first Triple Crown win in 37 years by American Pharoah. The athlete got his start winning the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby, all eyes were on Hot Springs in the months after as he proved the road to the Triple Crown runs through Oaklawn.
Another reason people love Oaklawn so much is the food, which is celebrated beginning with 50-cent corned beef sandwiches on opening day. But with new eateries in the gaming expansion — officially open for one year — like Silks Bar & Grill, guests have been introduced to new favorites that are here to stay.
Those looking for a foot race for a good cause need not look any further than the Van Davis 5K, on Feb. 20, now in its fourth year, honoring the memory of a longtime history and political science instructor at National Park College. In his time educating students, he also provided scholarships to several over the years who needed the extra help. Many of these students had no idea of his impact on their education, and all sponsorship proceeds of the race go toward providing more scholarships.
There's a lot happening in the final stretch of winter with spring right around the corner. But we don't slow down here in the Spa City.
See you at the races,
Beth Bright-Reed Associate editor