03/27/2009 11:00PM

Oaklawn dates have familiar look


The Arkansas Racing Commission on Saturday approved a 54-date race meet for Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs for 2010 that is almost identical to the current calendar. The meet is scheduled to open on Friday, Jan. 15, and run through Saturday, April 10.

Oaklawn will race on a Thursday-through-Saturday schedule for most of the meet, picking up Wednesdays for the final three weeks of the season.

* Oaklawn officials said a "participation bonus program" by which overnight purses can be increased based on field size will begin three days earlier than scheduled, on April 1. The bonus was originally set to start April 4. It calls for a $1,000 per starter purse increase for every wagering interest greater than eight, which means a $15,000 purse would increase to $16,000 if there are nine wagering interests and to as much as $19,000 for 12.