The Spotify Playlist to get me from Southland to Oaklawn

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

April 12th, 2016

Got a big trip coming up. Assuming no issues with travel, I'll add tracks 62 (Southland Park on Wednesday, April 13) and 63 (Oaklawn Park on Thursday, April 14) to my list. I've never been the Memphis (West or otherwise) beyond the confines of the airport or Arkansas at all, either, so there's some excitement surrounding that as well.

The Arkansas Derby on Saturday, April 16, at Oaklawn is the highlight. Of all the tracks I've been fortunate enough to visit, Oaklawn is the most glaring omission. People don't say "You gotta get to Oaklawn" because of a race or the city it's in or the way people dress. People say "You gotta get to Oaklawn" because of the racing. It takes over the town, and this week, for the Racing Festival of the South, it becomes the area's consciousness. 

There is no American Pharoah in this year's Arkansas Derby, and part of what makes Oaklawn great (or so I've surmised) is that doesn't really matter. It's a crowd capable of embracing and celebrating greatness (as it did with Azeri, Smarty Jones, Curlin, Zenyatta, and Rachel Alexandra all just this century) while also not needing a headline attraction to enjoy the show. Racing is the show.

But before the show is the drive, and during the drive is the tunes. I thought it too daunting to come up with an hours-long play list. In part because I'm lazy but also because there are some full albums I want to check out and podcasts to catch up on, but I'm very much looking forward to jamming these tunes en route to Oaklawn on Thursday morning. Other items on the itinerary include lunch at HattieB's Nashville Hot Chicken on Wednesday, and The Pancake Shop in Hot Springs some morning.

Tell me what else to do.