Oaklawn Racecourse is a thoroughbred equestrian sporting facility that is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas – United States. Although the legendary horse riding arena is widely accredited for many other reasons that have made it a top favorite to both racegoers and trainers alike, one of the most outstanding attributes of the popular amenity is that it hosts the ubiquitously loved The Racing Festival of the South. According to the new racetrack rankings that were extensively implemented by the Horseplayers Association of North America, Oaklawn Racecourse was ranked number seven, occupying a noteworthy slot among America’s foremost sporting venues. As such, this fairly old establishment has not only grown tremendously over the past few decades to become an important racing center in the United States but also throughout the world.
Oaklawn Racecourse was opened on 24th February 1905. Since the racecourse’s grand opening was set aside as a holiday throughout Hot Springs, well over 3,000 Arkansas denizens as well as several hundreds of sports tourists attended the grandiose event. Within the first few years after launching its race meetings, Oaklawn only staged six events each day. Unfortunately, the racecourse had to shut down temporarily due to the political upheavals that rocked the entire neighborhood in 1907.
When Louis Cella, the long-serving operator and owner of the racecourse, died in 1918, the managerial tasks of the thriving facility were handed over to his brother named Charles. Due to the technical challenges occasioned by this transfer, the facility was opened and closed once in every short time. This was partially due to the extra-racing commitments of the new manager as well as the political vagaries that affected the state those days. Nonetheless, the racecourse steadily grew in terms of popularity to become the distinguished premier sporting and hospitality location it is today. While it is firmly held that the grounds would have done better under Cella’s continued stewardship, the administrative foundations outweighed the evident managerial inadequacies of his inexperienced and sometimes seemingly unenthusiastic sibling.
In the 1930s, Oaklawn Racecourse increased its purse money with a view to making it compete effectively with other leading equine racing establishments countrywide. Toward the very end of the second global war, a horse riding competitions was staged at the facility for thirty consecutive days. Despite the interruptions that the grounds had experienced due to the turbulent conflict years, the month-long events were unprecedentedly successful. This shocked many racing pundits from all over the world who had become used to the dismal race turnouts that characterized the very first post-war years.
From 1975 to the present day, Oaklawn Racecourse has undertaken a series of wide-ranging structural renovations that have put it in the top category of the most technologically advanced sporting spots in the continent. These redesign projects saw the inclusion of the all-time record handle. As a result of these widespread changes, the volume of fans and equine sporting sightseers from outside the region soared markedly in the years following 1983. Even today, the facility is universally famed not only for its extraordinary sporting fixtures but also its singularly well-managed and unparalleled catering and hospitality services.