Calvin Borel is delayed by broken wrist in his quest for his 5,000th win

Jockeys Ray York and Calvin Borel

Jockey Calvin Borel is approaching his 5,000th victory and Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas will mark the event by giving away his image on a trading card.  Everyone hoped for the event to happen opening day but Calvin’s quest for his career milestone 5,000th has been delayed by an injury to his wrist. He has a minor fracture in his wrist that will require a cast. He is expected to be riding again in about 18 days.

Borel who has won the Kentucky Derby three times is still expected to make an appearance this week at a Little Rock printing company to witness the cards being printed.

Live thoroughbred racing begins on Friday, January 11 at Oaklawn Park.  Borel notched his 4,999th victory at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana – see our post

In a press release, Steve Arrison, chief executive officer of Visit Hot Springs said, “The historic 5,000th win should come fairly quickly when Oaklawn opens its 2013 live race meet Jan. 11. We can’t know for certain which day that victory will come, but we’ll be prepared to hand out free cards at the track that day.”

Arrison said the only way to get one of the free cards will be to be present at Oaklawn on the day Calvin wins number 5,000.

“We will not be issuing the cards anywhere else, and we will not accept mailed-in requests for them,” he said. “We’ll have special areas set up where fans can receive their cards. We are thinking that we’ll hand out two cards per person until they’re all gone, but that could change depending on the demand.”

The cards will follow the traditional format of the earlier cards, which contain a color photo on the front and text information on the back along with information about visiting Hot Springs, Arrison said.

The Hot Springs’ Arkansas tourism office has issued a number of trading cards over the years. On February 24, 1905, Oaklawn presented its first racing card before a crowd of 3,000 that turned out after Hot Springs Mayor John Belding declared a half-day holiday for the city. The first race at the new track was won by Duelist, owned by John W. Schorr, a prominent Memphis sportsman, and since that time, Oaklawn has evolved into one of the premier race meets in the country. Best known as the home of the Racing Festival of the South and Arkansas Derby, the track has played host to some of the biggest names in the sport including champions Temperence Hill, Cigar, Curlin, Paseana, Azeri, Tiffany Lass, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin At Lucky, Blind Luck and Zenyatta.  The agency printed cards showing prominent fillies Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta when the horses were supposed to race in 2010, though only Zenyatta made it to the starting gate.