The Oaklawn Jockey Club is projecting a record purse distribution of $23.5 million for the 2015 racing season at Oaklawn Park, the seventh consecutive year of increased purses.
The Hot Springs, Ark., track, which had previously announced a record $6.7 million stakes schedule for 2015, opens Jan. 9 and runs through April 11.
Oaklawn will begin the meet with maiden special weight races carrying purses of $60,000, which is $5,000 per race higher than the start of last season. Open allowance races will have purses up to $65,000; the minimum purse will be $18,000.
According to David Longinotti, Oaklawn's director of racing, the 33% spike in purse distribution since 2008 is the result of the success of Instant Racing and other electronic gaming, a strong racing product, and the launch this year of Oaklawn's own advanced deposit wagering service, Oaklawn Anywhere.
Although ADW's have been available in Arkansas for years, Oaklawn Anywhere is the first service to be regulated by the Arkansas Racing Commission and taxed by the state of Arkansas, the track said in a release.
"In this day and age, it's always gratifying to be able to raise purses, and for us to be able to do so year-after-year is a reflection of Oaklawn's commitment to bringing the highest quality racing to Arkansas," Longinotti said.
Oaklawn also announced a 50% expansion of its gaming area should be finished in time for the 2015 season.