Despite nearly a half foot of snow hitting Hot Springs, Arkansas, Sunday night, Oaklawn Park is scheduled to open the doors on its 2011 season Friday. The 54-day meet will be held on a Thursday through Sunday basis, with two special holiday Monday cards, and run through April 16.
Oaklawn has not been open for training since Sunday, resulting in a depleted field of six horses entered for the opening day feature, the $75,000 Fifth Season S. going 1 1/16 miles. Lightly raced five-year-old Flat Out (Flatter), hero of the 2009 Smarty Jones S., was pointing for Friday's race but the lack of training time this week has kept the bay in the barn.
WIN WILLY (Monarchos) also hasn't been able to work, recording his last move on January 4, but trainer Mac Robertson has still entered his charge in the Fifth Season. A horse for the course, Win Willy has competed just three times since running second in last April's Oaklawn H. (G2), finishing second in the Grover (Buddy) Delp Memorial S. before taking the Brandywine S. during the fall at Delaware Park.