- This event has passed.
OAKLAWN: 16th Annual Kick-Off Banquet
November 29 @ 5:30 pm
The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the 16th Annual Oaklawn Kick-off Banquet on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception. Dinner, program, and live auction will follow starting at 6:45 p.m. with Master of Ceremonies Rex Nelson.
The featured speaker will be American horse trainer William I. “Bill” Mott. The program will also feature the presentation of the Jack Van Berg Horse Racing Award to Bill Walmsley, president of the Arkansas HBPA.
Bill Mott’s career began in his home state of South Dakota, where he owned and trained horses with other members of his family. One of Mott’s earliest victories came at age 16, when his horse, Kosmic Tour, won the South Dakota Futurity at Park Jefferson.
By the early 1970s, Mott was working with Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg while also holding his own head trainer’s license. In 1978, Mott opened his own public stable.
A three-time Eclipse Award winner — 1995, 1996, and 2011 — Mott trained Hall of Fame member Cigar through a streak of 16 consecutive victories, including the inaugural Dubai World Cup in 1996. Cigar won a total of 15 stakes and was voted Horse of the Year in 1995 and 1996. He was retired with record earnings of $9,999,815. Mott also trained Hall of Fame member Royal Delta, winner of three Eclipse Awards. Other champions trained by Mott include Ajina, Channel Maker, Cody’s Wish, Elite Power, Escena, Paradise Creek, and Theatrical.
In 2010, Mott won his first Triple Crown race when Drosselmeyer won the Belmont Stakes. In 2019, he won the Kentucky Derby with Country House. Mott has won 15 Breeders’ Cup races, including five editions of the Distaff, and the Classic twice.
Mott has won 10 training titles at Belmont and nine each at Saratoga, Churchill Downs, and Gulfstream.
Through Breeders’ Cup 2023, Mott has won 5,362 races (No. 8 all time) with purse earnings of $339,189,915 (No. 4 all time).
Tell us about your upcoming event!