Edited press release
Remington Park announced that effective Friday, Sept. 19, all overnight purses will be increased approximately 5%. The upward financial offering will bring the daily average purse totals to the $218,000 mark. Remington Park was already well on pace to establish new daily average purse records through the first 16 days of the season, going over the $200,000 plateau for the first time ever.
Additionally the Oklahoma Derby, the track’s marquee Thoroughbred event, will now carry a purse of $350,000, a new all-time high for the race to be contested Sunday, Oct. 19. The Derby was originally worth $300,000.
Other stakes events on the Oklahoma Derby undercard have also been increased. The track’s top race for 2-year-olds, the Remington-MEC Mile, will now be worth $125,000. The last major turf stakes for older runners on the calendar, the Remington Green, also carries a purse that has been increased to $125,000.
Both the Remington-MEC Mile and the Remington Green were originally set at $100,000.
“Remington Park is pleased to offer a rare purse increase during the course of our season and we are equally pleased to enhance the stature of our top stakes events, including the now $350,000 Oklahoma Derby,” said Scott Wells, vice president and general manager of the track owned by Magna Entertainment. “Our racing product and our casino business are flourishing at this time, affording Remington Park the opportunity to increase purses and continue growth.”
Average on-track pari-mutuel handle through the first four weekends of the season is up 6% when compared to the 2007 season. Attendance on live racing dates is currently up 17% on average compared to last year.
The 2008 Remington Park Thoroughbred season will mark the third consecutive year that new records for daily purses have been established.