06/07/2006 12:00AM

Oaklawn Park track report


For the first time, Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will host a qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship.

The qualifier is scheduled for Aug. 12-13, and the first three finishers will win trips to the finals, to be held in Las Vegas in January 2007.

Oaklawn recently began taking entries for the qualifier, and had 37 entrants through Tuesday. The contest is open to 225 participants, with an entry fee of $300, $120 of which will be used as the player's bankroll. There are a couple of ways interested parties can sign up, said Jason Milligan, a spokesman for Oaklawn.

"They can either call me at 800-Oaklawn, extension 563," said Milligan, "or they can go online to oaklawn.com, and we have a link that says '2006 DRF/NTRA Handicapping Tournament.' The link will take them to a page where they can print off an entry form and mail it to Oaklawn."

Milligan said the qualifier is being held in response to patron requests. The total purse for the Oaklawn tournament is $25,000, with the first-place finisher earning $12,000.

Milligan said so far he has received entries from players in Arkansas, Wyoming, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas.