Oaklawn cancels weekend card; will open on 5-day MLK weekend

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) Cold weather and the chance of freezing rain and sleet prompted Oaklawn Park to cancel races this weekend and move many of its features to a five-day opening over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

The meet's traditional opening feature, the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes, will be run Jan. 15 rather than on Friday. The $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes will be run Jan. 16.

Temperatures fell to the low teens Thursday morning. Track maintenance crews said they could not be sure the dirt track would be safe for horses and riders so the park's operators opted to cancel racing for the weekend.

The $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, a mile-long race for 3-year-olds, will be run as scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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