OAKLAWN OPENING DAY10 a.m., Oaklawn.
Oaklawn's website currently offers a “$10 Free Play Coupon,” so print that dude out about 912 times*, nominate a designated driver and go cheer the ponies and place some video-game bets. The 106-year-old venue and the state's largest tourist magnet just got enhanced to the tune of $3 million, finally giving us a long-awaited option to the forced march to Tunica. The recent unveiling of an 850-station electronic gambling parlor with craps, poker and blackjack tables, as well as machines bearing an uncanny resemblance to slots, will give plenty of anxious hustlers their gaming fix. Apparently, Oaklawn's appeal has broadened beyond state boundaries. With last year's introduction of a rating system for North America's 65 thoroughbred tracks, the Horseplayers Association of North America placed Oaklawn ninth in its top 10, but we'd be wise to expect a higher ranking before the season's over.
*This probably won't work.