Thawing Out: Oaklawn Rearranges Feb. 20-21 Stakes Schedule

With the area under a winter storm warning and temperatures not forecast above freezing until Friday, Feb. 19, officials at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., have rescheduled five stakes next weekend, including several that already had been postponed from the Feb. 13-15 Presidents Day holiday weekend when racing was cancelled.

Citing the prospects of warmer weather on Sunday, Feb. 21, officials have moved three stakes to that date: the Grade 3, $750,000 Southwest Stakes (a Kentucky Derby qualifying points race offering 18 points),the Grade 3, $600,000 Razorback Handicap for older horses, and the Grade 3, $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes for fillies and mares.

The Razorback was originally scheduled on Feb. 13, while the Southwest and Bayakoa were to be run on Presidents Day, Feb. 15. All three were moved to Feb. 20 after the weekend cancellations but will now be run on Feb. 21.

The $150,000 Dixie Bell Stakes, originally scheduled on Feb. 13 and then moved to Feb. 21, will now be run on Saturday, Feb. 20. The $150,000 Downthedustyroad Stakes will be run on Feb. 20 as originally scheduled.

The weather forecast currently calls for snow on Monday, freezing temperatures through Thursday (with the prospect of snow showers on Thursday morning), and clearing on Friday with highs in the upper 30s. Saturday’s long-range forecast projects a high of 45, with temperatures on Sunday expected to reach 50 degrees.

Because of freezing temperatures, the Oaklawn track has been closed to training from Feb. 12-14.


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