Updated on 02/18/2015 10:02AM

Southwest Stakes postponed due to winter storm


Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., has canceled Monday’s program, according to track spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt. The card had featured the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Oaklawn likely won't make a decision on the rescheduled date for the Southwest Stakes until Tuesday, said Hoyt. 

"We want to see if we can train tomorrow, and if we can, we'll run the Southwest on Saturday," Hoyt said. "If we can't train tomorrow, then we'll push the Southwest back to Sunday. Our biggest concern is making sure the horses have the chance to adequately train up to the race." 

Oaklawn did not train Monday. It is scheduled to drop down to 10 degrees overnight in Hot Springs, according to The Weather Channel. The high for Tuesday is forecast for 41 degrees. Oaklawn has the option of training in the afternoon Tuesday since it is a dark day at the track. 

Oaklawn was to open for simulcasting and gaming Monday, said Hoyt.

A mix of winter precipitation moved into the Hot Springs area overnight, and on Monday morning, freezing rain was coming down. There was an accumulation of winter precipitation on the ground, as well as school cancellations in the area.

The Southwest Stakes is the first major prep for the Arkansas Derby. The race also awards its first four finishers a total of 17 eligibility points for the Kentucky Derby. The race’s cancellation is the second in recent history. In 2010, the Southwest program had to be canceled after four races due to inclement weather. The rescheduled race was won that year by Conveyance.

The harsh winter that has gripped areas of the country this year cost Oaklawn its opening weekend in early January. The meet continues through April 11.