HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) – Preparations are well underway for the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn.
"Unless you actually experience it, people don't understand it," said horse owner Carrolyn Campbell. ""It's just a matter of time before you hear those pounding hooves." Campbell was one of several thousand racing fans at the track Wednesday, to kick off the special four day racing week culminating in the racing festival of the south this weekend.
Nine horses are set to run in the Arkansas Derby, which is expected to draw roughly 70,000 visitors to Hot Springs. "Oaklawn is the number one tourism destination in the state of Arkansas," said Visit Hot Springs C.E.O. Steve Arrison. "And the Arkansas Derby is probably the number one reason why."
Arrison told THV some hotels have already been booked for the weekend but there are still rooms left.