Oaklawn increases purses for second time this meet - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Oaklawn increases purses for second time this meet

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HOT SPRINGS (KATV, Source: Oaklawn) After a picture-perfect Presidents Day Weekend, Oaklawn has announced it will increase purses for the second time this meet. Over the three-day holiday weekend, total handle was up nearly 30% over 2013 and almost 60,000 fans turned out to enjoy the gorgeous weather and highly competitive racing.

A season high 25,622 fans were in attendance Monday, Feb. 17 to see Tapiture jump to the head of the 3-year-old class with his victory in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3).

This second purse increase will be effective starting Thursday, Feb. 27 and will cover all overnight races.  Races with a claiming price of $20,000 or less will receive another $500 purse increase, up $1,000 from the beginning of the race meet. All other overnight races will increase by $3,000, up $5,000 since opening day. This means open allowance purses will increase from $60,000 to $63,000, maiden special weights will jump from $57,000 to $60,000 and the minimum purse will increase from $17,500 to $18,000.

Since 2005, Oaklawn purses have nearly doubled. That year, maiden special weights were worth $31,000, allowance races were worth $32,500 and the minimum purse was $9,000.

"I don't think anyone ever expected to see our purses double in just 10 years thanks to Instant Racing, gaming and good racing," said Director of Racing David Longinotti. "We ended the first half of our meet with tremendous momentum in both racing and gaming and there is every indication that we're headed into an even stronger second half. We are celebrating this good fortune with our horsemen as we head into the final seven weeks of our season. We came through the bad weather in excellent shape and are looking forward to seeing some of the best horses in the country competing for these unbelievable purses."

Still to come this season at Oaklawn is the Racing Festival of the South Preview Day March 15 featuring the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2), $200,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) and the $200,000 Razorback Stakes (G3) and the Racing Festival of the South April 5 – 12 culminating with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).