In case you missed it … A recap of Garland County sports stories gathered by The Sentinel-Record the week of March 25

A large crowd makes its way through Oaklawn Park Saturday on Derby Day. The Arkansas Derby held its inaugural running in 1936. (The Sentinel-Record/Lance Brownfield)
A large crowd makes its way through Oaklawn Park Saturday on Derby Day. The Arkansas Derby held its inaugural running in 1936. (The Sentinel-Record/Lance Brownfield)

High school track and field season is now in full swing throughout Garland County as an estimated 60,000 people converge at Oaklawn for the 88th running of the Grade I $1.5 million Arkansas Derby.


Ten seek $1.5M Arkansas Derby

Two Oaklawn stakes winners are among the 10 horses entered in Saturday's Grade $1.5 million Arkansas Derby.

Grade 2 Rebel hero Timberlake and Grade 3 star Mystik Dan seek their second graded wins of 2024.

The Arkansas Derby offers 100 points to a Triple Crown-eligible performer, Timberlake collecting 20 and Mystik Dan 10 with their February victories.


Beyond the Diamond with the Wolves' Easton Hurley

PEARCY -- Lake Hamilton High School senior pitcher Easton Hurley has proven to be a huge asset on the mound for the Wolves this season.

Going into this week, the Wolves sit in the top spot in their conference, with a 10-1, 5-0 record.

Head coach Matthew Weigand said Hurley has been clutch for the team for four years.


Nighthawks celebrate attaining ultimate goal as NJCAA national champs

The National Park College Nighthawks are NJCAA Division II national champions after their 84-79 defeat of South Suburban College in the national championship Saturday night in Danville, Ill.

On Tuesday, the entire team was honored at the NPC Student Commons with a showing of their final game and various celebratory speeches.

Head coach of the Nighthawks, Dillon Hargrove, whose voice was still hoarse from the tournament, said he was beyond proud of his team.

Derby second choice ranks No. 2 in NTRA's weekly poll

Catching Freedom, by winning the Louisiana Derby, would be the leading Triple Crown prospect in most stables.

Things are not that simple in trainer Brad Cox's world, where such a prospect must pick a number.

Saturday's Grade 2 winner in New Orleans ranks fifth in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's weekly 3-year-old poll.

Beyond the Diamond with Lake Hamilton's Abigail Dalton

Lake Hamilton High School senior outfielder Abigail Dalton has been a difference-maker for the Lady Wolves softball team this season. Head coach Amy Teague said Dalton has a great personality and is a dual-threat player.

Dalton recently met with The Sentinel-Record to give people a glimpse into what she is like beyond the diamond. Dalton is also a pitcher and a right-handed hitter. Her walkout music is "Can't Stop," by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Three thoroughbreds killed, four injured in Ky. crash Monday

An early morning trailer crash in Kentucky that killed three thoroughbreds bound for Keeneland Race Course Monday was traveling from Fair Grounds Race Course, not Oaklawn as several media sources have claimed.

The tractor trailer was traveling east around 4:49 a.m. on the Bluegrass Parkway toward Lexington, Kentucky, when it "crossed the median and west bound lanes, colliding into the embankment of the overpass," a news release from the Bardstown Police Department said.

The release said the trailer contained seven horses, "3 of which were pronounced dead on scene.


Combined no-hitter propels Rams to a 10-0 victory over El Dorado

The Lakeside Rams on Tuesday defeated the El Dorado Wildcats 10-0 behind a combined no-hitter from senior pitcher Harrison Barmore and junior pitcher Grady Ohman.

The Rams (6-4, 2-3) were able to end the game with a run rule in the sixth inning behind a late eruption of offense.

Lakeside's pitching faced the minimum after only allowing two base runners on a pair of early walks.

Analyst eyes chalky Oaklawn classic

Three stakes winners, two victorious at Oaklawn, stand out in the 10-horse Arkansas Derby, says Horse Racing Nation analyst Matt Shifman.

Saturday's Grade 1 $1.5 million race for 3-year-olds offers 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to an eligible winner.

Muth, early 8-5 favorite, is running only for purse money and graded black type, being barred from the May 4 classic in Louisville by running for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.


CMS quarterback selected for Elite 11 Regional

Cutter Morning Star quarterback Peyton Mills was recently selected to attend the Elite 11 Regional in Oxford, Miss.

According to its website, Elite 11 event alumni include 27 of the 32 current NFL starting quarterbacks and 15 of the past 16 quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy.

Mills tallied 2,433 total yards in his junior season at the helm of the Eagles' prolific offense. He has 4,555 career yards with 55 touchdowns.

Thirteen enter 'T-Hill' marathon

From a spelling standpoint alone, Temperence Hill always presented problems.

If not drinking out of frustration, English teachers might be caught wrestling with the Christian grace of moderation or self-restraint when dealing with the horse's first name.

But the Stop the Music colt, produced by the Etonian mare Sister Shannon, though he might have stumped contestants in the National Spelling Bee, was registered by The Jockey Club as Temperence Hill and that, as they say, is that.

First time for everything: Lukas, 88, enters Fantasy

Like the U.S. Open in golf for Phil Mickelson, the Fantasy Stakes is one Oaklawn jewel that's eluded Darrell Wayne Lukas.

A Hall of Fame trainer as synonymous with 3-year-old fillies as Stephen Curry with the 3-point shot in basketball, Lukas has drawn a blank in Oaklawn's premier race for the gender since 1973.

Among HOF members alone, Charlie Whittingham won the Fantasy three times and Bob Baffert, Laz Barrera, Jerry Hollendorfer, Jack Van Berg and John Veitch twice each.


Mena run-rules Cobras after grand slam

The Mena Bearcats dominated the Fountain Lake Cobras' softball team with a 12-1 victory Thursday.

A pair of four-run innings helped Mena end the game with a five-inning run rule. Junior pitcher Abigail Koppein went all five innings, striking out nine.

"She's a pretty good pitcher," Mena head coach Ray Hunter said after the game. "She was our all-state pitcher last year in this district. She came back and she's having a good year so far and I thought she pitched pretty well."

Ex-claimer wins T-Hill marathon

A previous winning trainer of Oaklawn's Temperence Hill Stakes -- they might as well call it a marathon -- did it again Friday with another horse going around three turns.

Masqueparade, a 6-year-old Upstart gelding, outfooted Classic Causeway in the second stretch run for an unexpected victory in the $200,000 race honoring the 1980 Arkansas Derby winner.

Robertino Diodoro won the race a second time with a horse able perhaps to run as far as races can be written -- in this case, a mile and a half, same distance that Temperence Hill won the Belmont Stakes in his 3-year-old championship season.


Baffert takes fifth Arkansas Derby

Whatever his relations with Churchill Downs, Bob Baffert treats Oaklawn as a home away from his native California.

The man with six Kentucky Derby winners -- it was seven until now-deceased Medina Spirit flunked a drug test in 2021 -- added one for the thumb, as pro athletes might say of championship rings, regarding the Arkansas Derby on Saturday.

Even if Muth turned it into a possible Preakness prep.

McPeek filly runs off with Fantasy

The last filly to enter the starting gate crossed the finish line first in the 52nd Fantasy Stakes.

Thorpedo Anna, punctual Saturday when it mattered most, won the Grade 2 $750,000 race for 3-year-old fillies by four lengths with a stalking trip from post 10 (though wearing the No. 12 saddle cloth in a race with two scratches).

With 100 Kentucky Derby Oaks qualifying points, trainer Ken McPeek hopes for a better outcome May 3 at Churchill Downs than with 2020 Fantasy winner Swiss Skydiver, who won the Preakness after losing in the Oaks.

Trainer Diodoro ruled off at track over drug issue

The cloud under which trainer Robertino Diodoro began the Oaklawn meeting settled again over the track Friday, threatening to overshadow its marquee race.

On the eve of the 88th Arkansas Derby, the two-time local champion was cited for using a banned substance and his horses were ruled off the grounds as of today.

Facing up to a two-year suspension, Diodoro has been suspended until the case has been reviewed by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit's Internal Adjunction Panel and then by a federal administrative case, reported. The trainer has hired Little Rock attorney John Holleman for representation. Holleman did not respond to the website's request for comment.

Lakeside, Lake Hamilton shine at Friday's Don Pierce relays

Track and field lovers could not ask for better spring weather at Friday's Don Pierce Lakeside Relays, which featured 10 girls teams and nine boys teams from across the state.

Lakeside, Lake Hamilton, and Hot Springs represented Garland County at the event.

Lakeside head track coach Jeff Haynes said they had to reschedule the original meet date, noting he was glad his team could test their skills.

photo Muth, under regular rider Juan Hernandez, gives Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record-tying fifth Arkansas Derby victory before an estimated crowd of 60,000 Saturday at Oaklawn. (Submitted photo courtesy of Coady Photography)

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