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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:34 pm 
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I am looking to buy available 'good' seat tickets for 2 to the Arakansas Derby and the Apple Blossom Stakes race dates in April this year.

Also am open to any 'local knowledge/advice' from locals/regulars* for this event as to where to eat in Hot Springs, etc. Never been and got a delayed start in ordering/paying for good seats (Oaklawn Park personnel recommended the Carousel Terrace seating) only to find out that those recommended seats were SOLD OUT by 9AM(!) on the 31st shortly after tickets went on sale.


*Psst! bdw0617 I'm hoping to hear from you as someone on this board who in the recent past seemed to have 'feet on the ground' with Oaklawn Park, the betting windows and bettor options at this historic track.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:42 am 
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I always sit in the upper Terrace. You can see both sides of the track. If you want a great burger then by all means you must go to the Ohio Club in Downtown Hot Springs across from bathhouse row.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:35 am 
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Jim P - Thanks so much! I'm really looking forward to this trip after years of watching the Apple Blossom and then the Arkansas Derby either on TV or simulcast at my local track, Sam Houston.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:07 am 
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Bumping this up >> Heading out for Hot Springs tomorrow morning with tickets to Oaklawn for Arkansas Derby in hand....getting excited to see this race park and of course to <maybe> witness this year's Kentucky Derby winner punch his Derby entry ticket. (Just as excited about the preceding day's program!) I have taken Jim P's advice and actually have two sets of tickets, 2 seats together, in the Terrace section and on front row of the Box seats near finish line...will decide which ones to keep based on Friday's first ever visit and chance to check out the facility.

Are any other Pedigree Board posters/lurkers going to be there?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:11 pm 
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No, but in the interests of living vicariously, I'm looking forward to hearing all about it from you, Jellac. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:48 pm 
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Jellac,

It will be crowded but the track is nice and your seats should be good.
I would go for the box if it is close to the front windows. I went to the
Rebel and planned on being there for the Derby but not sure I am going
to be able to get away. I am not giving up hope until the last minute.
Enjoy the race and Oaklawn!

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"the gene pool could use a little chlorine"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:07 am 
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Yesterday was a grand day of racing! After driving thru VERY heavy weather to arrive late Thursday we are experincing a glorious late spring with dogwoods and azaleas in full bloom and the skies clear and the breeze gentle and cooling but not chill. All of yesterday's card - except the Apple Blossom - were 6 furlongs, the races were on a fast track and horses in beautiful condition. I won well early then lost most of it back and did very well when I placed a healthy W-P-S on long shot Am a Milkyway and was well enough paid for second and third to be solidly ahead again for the day. Best part: that morning called the Arlington's concierge and got the owner's box on the FINISh Line!!! We were surrounded by owners and their friends.....had a blast.

Had dinner at the Ohio Club as recommeded and it is as good as stated.

Now.....off to the Derby,


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:07 am 
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Yesterday was a grand day of racing! After driving thru VERY heavy weather to arrive late Thursday we are experincing a glorious late spring with dogwoods and azaleas in full bloom and the skies clear and the breeze gentle and cooling but not chill. All of yesterday's card - except the Apple Blossom - were 6 furlongs, the races were on a fast track and horses in beautiful condition. I won well early then lost most of it back and did very well when I placed a healthy W-P-S on long shot Am a Milkyway and was well enough paid for second and third to be solidly ahead again for the day. Best part: that morning called the Arlington's concierge and got the owner's box on the FINISh Line!!! We were surrounded by owners and their friends.....had a blast.

Had dinner at the Ohio Club as recommeded and it is as good as stated.

Now.....off to the Derby,


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:34 pm 
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Sounds wonderful, Jellac. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself.

Oh well, I'm going to the racing at Sun Downs next week!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:31 pm 
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Jellac,

I am glad you enjoyed the races. I think Oaklawn is a great track.
I am glad you enjoyed the Ohio Club.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:42 pm 
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I think I heard that there were over 60,000 people there today.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:34 am 
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Sounds like you had just a WONDERFUL time. Churchill opens next Saturday night with Downs after Dark that is always fun. Hopefully I can scrape up the time to get there.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:58 am 
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Madelyn, geowarrior and JimP - I really did have a wonderful time!

Some quick final observations -

AMERICAN PHARAOH is an extraordinary looking individual - even among other very fine examples of the thoroughbred as he was at Oakland's pre-race saddling area. He travels so smoothly it can deceive the observer as to how fast he is actually going and he possesses a very cool temperament as well. I do not think we've seen him go to his 'next' gear(s) nor have any clue as to what/where his 'bottom' is....he always seems to be winning/performing while under cruise control, albeit at a high cruising speed. FAR RIGHT on the other hand ran his eyeballs out to close from way back in last to the top of the stretch and then kept trying to catch the rapidly distancing Pharaoh down the stretch to no avail. I wonder how close FAR RIGHT might have been if he hadn't been so slow out of the gate at the start....but maybe that is his preferred way of running? I still don't think a better start by FAR RIGHT would have made a difference in the order of finish. MR Z also ran his race from wire to the final turn, assuring an honest pace, and I did not perceive him as slowing or flagging in the final stretch - he simply was beat by classic distance capable horses that had more speed/reserves for the final furlongs. The Sunday paper reported 68,500 were in attendance at Oaklawn and on such a gorgeous day they had the party in the infield cranked up and the open air bleacher seats in front of the grandstand were full of moving colorfully dressed (and hatted) crowd so it was a good test of how the horses might react to Derby Day crowds...PHARAOH was just about the coolest customer in the saddling area and none seemed terribly stressed by the noise and crowd.

IF there are any chinks in Pharaoh as a favorite/co-favorite for the Derby it is the caveat of how he might handle a deeper track (?) like Churchill although most thoroughbreds who've done well at the Arkansas Derby have gone on to handle Churchill. A second caveat is how he might handle such a track if there is rain and it's heavy going. Final caveat as to the weather angle: last Saturday Oaklawn was the epitome of how beautiful a southern spring day in the Ouachita mountains on Arkansas Derby day can be: plenty of warm, not hot sunshine under clear blue skies and the mild waffling breeze felt like a ceiling fan on your skin in keeping it from getting warm. I have been at Churchill when heat and humidity combined to make for a very heavy, hot almost stifling atmosphere (and this coming from someone who hails from Houston, so I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to 'heavy' air/humidity) though admittedly that was later in their racing season. Still unseasonable heat and humidity or a heavy rain would have to be taken under consideration in one's handicapping. (I've only seen DORTMUND, etc. other top picks for favorite/low odds on the first Saturday in May on television or race replays so hard to make any comparisons to PHARAOH.)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Jellac thanks for the report. It will be interesting come the first
Saturday in May. That is a huge crowd for Oaklawn but glad you
had a good time at the races.

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"the gene pool could use a little chlorine"


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:40 am 
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Jellac, sounds like you really had a great time and got to see many good horses, and maybe a great one.

I'm very glad you enjoyed yourself.


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