One of racing’s most popular competitions returns to the land of the Ozarks this week.
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, raises the curtain on its 2020 meet Friday, January 24th. This meet offers big fields and even bigger purses for three months of sensational racing.
Oaklawn is indeed unique among major tracks in that it does not have a turf course, but rest assured there will be more than enough competitive dirt races to make playing the races at the Arkansas track a fun experience.
To get ready for opening day, let’s take a look at the trainers who have been the dominant figures at the last two meets in 2019 and 2018.
At the top of the list is Steve Asmussen, who was the leading trainer here in both 2018 and 2019. He Won 44 races in 2018, and with a longer 2019 meet, he increased that total to 64.
Combined that’s 108 wins from 550 starters, which is the highest number among trainers. Yet Asmussen’s edge did not reflect quantity and quantity alone. Combined during the last two years, Asmussen Won races at a highly respectable 20% clip.
Second among the trainers the past two years was Robertino Diodoro, who Won 48 races last year and 32 in 2018. That combined total of 80 Wins came from 349 starters, giving him a better Winning percentage than Asmussen with a mark of 23%.
Two trainers were next with 47 wins in the two years. Brad Cox Won 27 races and then 20 to reach 47, while accumulating 202 starters and Winning at a 23% clip. Karl Broberg Won 33 races last year after a 14-win campaign in 2018 and he posted a 21% Winning percentage over those two years.
Right behind Broberg came Federico Villafranco, who gathered a combined 45 Wins with a 16% Winning percentage.
Norman McKnight recorded 44 Wins while Winning at a sharp 24% rate.
Ron Moquet had 43 Wins from 305 starts to post a 14% Winning mark.
Finally, Ingrid Mason had 31 Wins while reeling off Victories at a pace of 15%.
Will history repeat itself ? We’ll find out soon enough, but you’ll still want to keep an eye out for these trainers at Oaklawn Park again this year.
The 2020 Arkansas Derby is set for April 11th.