On February 24, 1905, Oaklawn presented its first racing card before a crowd of 3,000 that turned out after Hot Springs Mayor John Belding declared a half-day holiday for the city. The first race at the new track was won by Duelist, owned by John W. Schorr, a prominent Memphis sportsman, and since that time, Oaklawn has evolved into one of the premier race meets in the country. Best known as the home of the Racing Festival of the South and Arkansas Derby, the track has played host to some of the biggest names in the sport with the latest star being 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who won both the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby en route to making history with victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Other champions to use Oaklawn as a launching pad include Temperence Hill, Cigar, Curlin, Paseana, Azeri,Tiffany Lass, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin At Lucky, Blind Luck, Zenyatta, Close Hatches, Work All Week and Will Take Charge.
- View a complete decade by decade history of Oaklawn.
- View a complete list of champions that have competed at Oaklawn.
- Watch some of our most memorable races.