For the second time in six weeks, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course has announced an across the board purse increase. The increase of 5%, which will take effect Saturday, March 4, will move the daily purse distribution to an unprecedented level for the facility, which began live Thoroughbred racing in November, 2014.
Mark Loewe, vice president of Ohio Racing for Penn Gaming stated, "We have benefitted from an unseasonably temperate winter which has resulted in no interruption of our live racing calendar, as well as increased exposure from TVG (Television Games Network), and the bettor's across North America have responded favorably to our exciting racing product featuring big fields and large payoffs." Loewe added "Our overnight daily purse distribution (not including Stakes Races) will now average more than $110,000, and the median purse will be more than $14,000."
Overnight purses will now start at $8,500 for $4,000 claimers, maiden races will begin at $8,300 for $5,000 claiming, up to $18,800 for the special weight class. Open allowance races for Ohio Bred Horses will have a purse of $33,300, and allowance races will range from $19,300 for an entry-level, to $24,300 for an open event. Stakes Races are not affected by the increase and will still be worth a minimum of $75,000.
Officials have also announced that Friday, March 24 has been added to the live racing calendar. The additional race day is a make-up day for a weather-related cancellation in December, 2016 and will feature the regular first post of 12:45 p.m.