Arrive early on a Saturday for Dawn at Oaklawn, a behind-the-scenes look at Thoroughbred racing. Watch the horses train, take a barn tour, and hear from racing insiders. Weather permitting, the event is held on the South Apron each Saturday morning, beginning on President’s Day weekend. It is hosted by Nancy Holthus who invites a different guest each week for a live, recorded Q&A session that’s broadcast on Oaklawn’s Youtube channel.
Fuel up before the races with a big breakfast! The Track Kitchen, located in Oaklawn’s parking lot, is a favorite among Oaklawn insiders and is known for its massive pancakes! The Track Kitchen also offers betting machines, so you can have breakfast and place your bets all in one place! If you want to get out and explore a little, Hot Springs has several other popular breakfast joints, including Colonial Pancake & Waffle House, The Pancake Shop, and Best Cafe. At Hotel Hale’s on-site restaurant, Eden, serves weekend brunches with elevated menu items and mimosa flights!
A day at the races calls for some specialty items, most specifically a hat! Top off your look with a visit to the Grand Lagniappe Shoppe, the Hot Springs Hat Company, or The Gangster Museum of America! For fine cigars, visit Churchill's Fine Cigars and Gifts Inc. or the Humidor.
The races kick off at 1 p.m. but plan to arrive early to enjoy one of Oaklawn’s signature corned beef sandwiches. Afterwards, stop by the paddock, located on the bottom floor of Oaklawn, to get an up close view of the thoroughbred race horses before they take to the track.
Head to the Oaklawn Infield, a beautiful spot to enjoy a day at the races. Bring a blanket and sit out on the lush lawn as the horses race around the track. You can place your bets at various betting windows and enjoy food and drinks, all without leaving the infield! There is also indoor seating, with free seats on the first floor, and reserved seats and boxes in the large indoor grandstand.
It’s cocktail hour! Watch the final races from the comfort of The First Turn, an upscale lounge with a heated balcony and views of the track.
The final race has run but the fun is not over yet. Enjoy an upscale dinner at The Bugler, located inside Oaklawn, or head elsewhere in town. Fine dining options include Via Roma Italian Restaurant, Luna Bella, The Vault, and 501 Prime.
If you’re still feeling lucky after your day at the track, visit Oaklawn’s sprawling casino for a game of blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, or craps. There are also rows upon rows of slot machines and a sportsbook area with live wagering.
Toast your winnings with a nightcap at The OAK Room & Bar, located inside the Oaklawn casino.
Your best hat and comfortable shoes.
Oaklawn’s live race season runs December 9-May 7
Uber & Lyft