Wiggins Named Integrity Officer for Oaklawn Park

Former trainer will assume the role for 2018 season.


Oaklawn Jockey Club has named Hal Wiggins, one of the most respected horsemen and racing officials in the Midwest, to the newly created position of Racing Integrity Officer.

In this new position, Wiggins will serve as a liaison between Oaklawn Management, the Board of Stewards and key Arkansas Racing Commission staff, working to ensure Oaklawn’s racing program is conducted at the highest standards.

“The Oaklawn family is excited to announce Hal Wiggins as our Integrity Officer, a newly created position designed just for an individual such as he, who has the knowledge, experience and respect of his fellow horsemen,” Louis Cella, Oaklawn’s vice-president, said. “We strive to be forward thinking in all things racing and this is another example of our commitment to integrity.”

Arkansas Racing Commission Chairman Alex Lieblong agrees. “This sends an additional message that Oaklawn takes the integrity of the sport very seriously,” said Lieblong said. “I applaud them for creating this position and I applaud them for hiring Hal. I don’t think you could have asked for a better person. He’s been in racing a long time and knows when something doesn’t smell right. He also has a good way of communicating. If you can’t get along with Hal, then something else is wrong.”

For more than 30 years Wiggins was a successful horsemen, best known as the original trainer of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who won both Oaklawn’s 2009 Martha Washington and Fantasy Stakes while under his care. Other top runners include multiple stakes winner Chorwon, Morris Code, Cielo Gold and Leo’s Gypsy Dancer.  In recent years, he has worked as a Steward as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the Texas Thoroughbred Association and as President of the Paddock Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to Thoroughbred aftercare.

“I don’t think Oaklawn could have found a better person to work with the horsemen in protecting the integrity of our sport,” Arkansas H.B.P.A. President Linda Gaston said.  “Hal’s a horseman first and we know he’ll do a wonderful job in this new position.”

“My hat is off to Oaklawn for creating this position,” Wiggins said. “The Oaklawn operation has a splendid national reputation and I’m honored to have the opportunity to be a part of it.  This is a new position, and we’ll all be learning together. But, I’m convinced we can make a difference, for the horsemen and the fan.  I’m really looking forward to it.”

Oaklawn opens for the 2018 live season Friday, Jan. 12 and the 57-day meet continues through Saturday, April 14. For more information, visit http://www.oaklawn.com.


Hot Springs, Ark. (Friday, July 28, 2017) – Oaklawn will offer fans the chance to experience the thrills of Thoroughbred ownership in a low-risk, low-cost fashion with the debut of the Oaklawn Racing Club just in time for the 2018 live racing season.

The Oaklawn Racing Club will offer up to 200 shares at $500 each in a horse that will be purchased privately and trained by multiple stakes-winning Oaklawn trainer and native Arkansan Ron Moquett. The plan is for Moquett to identify and purchase an unraced 2-year-old with the goal of starting one or two times this fall in preparation for its 3-year-old season at Oaklawn. The 2018 season runs Jan. 12 – April 14.

“Oaklawn has one of the greatest fan bases in the country and we know there will be a lot of interest in our Racing Club,” General Manager Wayne Smith said. “There’s nothing more exciting than having the opportunity to be involved in Thoroughbred racehorse ownership. We’re looking forward to working with Ron and hopefully offering that thrill to Oaklawn Racing Club members.”

“I’m really excited to be part of the Oaklawn Racing Club,” said Moquett, who has trained major contenders in Oaklawn’s 3-year-old stakes program the last three years with Far Right, Whitmore and Petrov. “This is a great way for a racing fan to get the experience without all the risks that can come with owning a Thoroughbred. We look forward to having a lot of fun with the group and their horse.”

Benefits of membership include regular email updates on the horse, access to a member only Facebook page for regular pictures, videos and updates on the horse, exclusive club events during the 2018 Oaklawn live meet and two free reserved seats every time the Oaklawn Racing Club horse runs (excluding Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby days).

The Oaklawn Racing Club was formed with the intention of being a 501(c)(7) not-for-profit social club organized for pleasure, recreational and other non-profitable purposes. Members should not join with any profit motive or expectation of profit.

Membership shares can only be purchased through the Oaklawn website, http://www.oaklawn.com, beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. Only one membership per person will be allowed and all participants must by at least 18-years-old to participate.

For more information, visit http://oaklawn.com/racing/oaklawn-racing-club/ or email racingclub@oaklawn.com.

Registration is Open for Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at Remington Park

The Elite Program, Inc. will present their Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at Remington Park, Oklahoma City August 17-19. Registration is open and interested persons may register and guarantee a spot in that class at http://www.groomelite.com or http://www.purplepowerracing.com
Click here for more information and to register

Trainer Programs


  • Focus on information important to both new and experienced trainers
  • Trainer’s Elite 301 prepares aspiring trainers for a state’s trainers licensing exam.
  • Trainer’s seminars on a single topic of current interest to trainers
  • Offered at times and locations convenient to trainers


Trainer Elite 301


Short Course on principles of training and rules of racing preparing students to take state trainers licensing exam. (State licensing exams administered by respective state and completion of this class does not guarantee licensing.) A complete list of topics is available from the left hand menu. Tuition: $250 (includes loose-leaf bound handout materials, refreshments and CD of materials).
For more information contact
C. Reid McLellan, PhD 859-321-4377



Hot Springs, Ark. (Sunday, March 12, 2017) – One of the richest racing seasons in the country just got richer.

Oaklawn, which already has the highest purses in the country for this time of year, is increasing purses as much as $8,000 per race effective Saturday, March 18, thanks to strong business across the board and good weather.

Purses for Maiden Special Weights will increase from $72,000 to $80,000 and Allowance races will be as high as $84,000 after the starting the season as high as $76,000.

Saturday’s card was already going to be the second richest of the meet with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2), $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) and the $250,000 Essex Handicap included in the 11-race card. With the purse increase, the total purses for the day should exceed $2 million.

“The Rebel Stakes is no longer just a stepping stone to the Arkansas Derby,” Assistant General Manager Wayne Smith said. “It stands on its own merit as one of the leading preps for the Triple Crown races. When you add in the Azeri and the Essex, you get one of the strongest days of racing anywhere – and it just gets better with these purse bumps that will have a positive impact on the under card races and the rest of our season.”

Also impacted by the purse increase will be all starter allowance races; claiming races with a claiming price of $30,000 or higher;  and maiden claiming races with a claiming price of $30,000 or higher – all with a $2,000 per race bump.

The popular Trail’s End, the 1 ¾-miles starter allowance race that traditionally ends Oaklawn’s season, also will receive a boost, from $50,000 to $55,000.

“For 113 years, Oaklawn’s motto has been ‘racing comes first,’” Smith said. “Our gaming operation exists to create a vibrant racing product. This year, we have benefited from strong business in racing and gaming, which is allowing us to increase purses during the season for the ninth consecutive year – that’s an exceptional run.”

The 2017 Oaklawn meet runs through Saturday, April 15.