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Have a Spa Blast at Oaklawn Friday

Have a Spa Blast at Oaklawn Friday

Fireworks Display Set for 9:35 p.m.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Spa Blast, one of the annual summer highlights in Hot Springs, returns to Oaklawn Park Friday, July 1, just in time to kick-off the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend. The event will begin at 5 p.m. and culminates with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Spa Blast, which will take place in Oaklawn’s infield, will feature live music, a Family Fun Park area with kid rides, rock climbing wall, Mid-America Science Museum Mobile unit, Mini Air Show, stunt plane flyover and skydiving exhibition. Concession stands will be open with family-friendly pricing. Blankets and folding chairs are welcome, but no coolers will be allowed.

“Spa Blast is an event every one in Hot Springs looks forward to,” said Matt Clement, Director of Entertainment.

At the races

At the races

Joyful Victory Leads Mother Goose Field at Belmont Park

A select field of sophomore fillies headed by Oaklawn Park dual graded stakes winner Joyful Victory will contest Saturday’s $250,000 Mother Goose (G1) at Belmont Park.

Joyful Victory, trained by Larry Jones for Fox Hill Farms, most recently was fourth as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6. She broke from the rail that day in a field of 13, and Jones said he thought the filly might not have been able to hit her best stride.

“There was some traffic and I don’t think she was able to do her running when she wanted,” said Jones. “She’s a big, long-striding filly and she needed to be cruising faster than she was able to [in the Oaks].

Willie Tate Golf Classic huge success

Willie Tate Golf Classic huge success

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. -- Numbers were big on the first Saturday of June, 2011 at Degray State Resort Golf Course. All but the golf scores!

Temperatures were in the 90s; 36 teams of four split into two flights. There were over 200 hamburger patties served hot off the grill accompanied by more than 50 cases of cold drinks.

More than 150 people were in attendance for the 1st Annual  Willie Tate Classic Golf Tournament, which netted over $5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. And here’s a thought....if two members of half the teams opted for a bucket of range balls, well, that would be 1800 range balls!

 Many, many thanks to everyone who made this event a huge success. To our sponsors, the golfers, the volunteers, friends and family, we thank you all so very much. To the staff at DeGray Golf Course and Woody Jolley, we could not have done it without you!

To Coach Willie Tate and Mrs.

Racing news

Racing news

Arkansas-bred Comedero Looks to Keep Streak Alive at Charles Town

While he may not be as accomplished as the fellow Arkansas-bred, Group 2-winner Strong Suit, who won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, it is safe to say that Peter Redekop’s Comedero, is at least the best Arkansas-bred running in the U.S. as he looks to extend his winning streak to three-in-a-row with a victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Wild and Wonderful Stakes at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.

When Comedero gets good, he gets really good. Last year, as a 3-year-old, he won five straight races, including two stakes at Oaklawn, the Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico and the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes at Charles Town. Returning from a six-month layoff this year, he easily toyed with his fellow Arkansas-breds in the April 2 $50,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes at Oaklawn, winning by 10 ¾ lengths. Most recently he won the Vincent A.

Nehro draws post six, made second choice for Belmont

Nehro draws post six, made second choice for Belmont

Zayat Stable’s Nehro, who broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park on February 21 and proceeded to wheel off three consecutive second-place finishes in the Louisiana (G2), Arkansas (G1) and Kentucky (G1) Derbies, has drawn post position six of 12 for Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) and has been installed as the 4-1 second choice on the morning, behind only Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

The Mineshaft colt, trained by three-time leading Oaklawn Park conditioner Steve Asmussen, was held out of the May 21 Preakness Stakes, which could bode well for his chances in this year’s 1 ½-mile “Test of Champions.” Since 2000, five horses, who ran in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness have come back to win the Belmont, including 2009 Arkansas Derby third-place finisher Summer Bird, that year’s champion 3-year-old.

“Mr. [Ahmed] Zayat and his family are very pleased to be running in the Belmont Stakes,” said Brad Weisbord, Zayat Stables racing manager.

Arkansas Derby'sNehro readies for Belmont

Arkansas Derby'sNehro readies for Belmont

Zayat Stable's Nehro, the runner-up in Oaklawn Park's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) before another second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1), completed his preparations for Saturday's $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) with a half-mile workout over the New York-area's giant main track.

With exercise jockey Cesar Garcia aboard, Nehro went four furlongs in 50.88 according to New York Racing Association clockers. Typical of top horses for trainer Steve Asmussen, the Mineshaft colt was out early in the morning and went through relatively easy early fractions of 26.24 before galloping out five furlongs in a controlled 1:04.17.

“I thought he worked great," said Toby Sheets, Asmussen's New York-based assistant. "It was just exactly what the boss wanted. We were very pleased with him.

Free Fishing Days event begins next weekend

Free Fishing Days event begins next weekend

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Free Fishing Days of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission begins next weekend. Free Fishing Days will start at noon Friday, June 10, through midnight Sunday, June 12. No sport fisherman, resident or non-resident, will be required to have a fishing license or a trout permit to fish anywhere in Arkansas during these times.

An annual tradition, Free Fishing Days furnishes many citizens and visitors with an opportunity to enjoy the popular outdoor activity. Free Fishing Days are part of the National Fishing Week celebration. Mark Oliver, chief of fisheries for the AGFC, said the annual event is a lot of fun for employees as well as the public. "We want to encourage Arkansas people as well as visitors who come to our state, who may not be fishermen, to give it a try. We especially encourage parents to go fishing with their kids.