By Maura Montez :: Photography by Jamison Mosley
his year Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs opened on a cold and foggy Friday the 13th in January to a lively crowd for its 113th year running.
There were no superstitious concerns from the thousands of people entering the gates and in the concourse bustling from the energy of first-time betters, as well as seasoned horse fanatics. The mouth-watering sight and smells of the track’s famous corned beef, coupled with sounds of ticket machines and the classic trumpet heralding each race’s start, confirmed this is the place to be for horse race fans of all ages.
The real crowned jewels of the track that may easily be taken for granted by guests are the incredibly dedicated employees from around the world, numbering more than 1,500 at the height of racing season. More than fifty of them have shared their smiles and skills at Oaklawn for more than 15 years.
Here are a few team members that keep racing operations moving smoothly and guests happy whether they win, place or show, 365 days a year during live and simulcast races.
In case you’re wondering, yes, you may run into at least one of them during this year’s racing season that ends Saturday, April 15. While many call it tax day, it’s Arkansas Derby Day here!
*Stay tuned for extra and extended profiles on The Oaklawn Steadfast!