An increase of more than 10% in overnight purses and the doubling of the purse for the track’s premier stakes race was announced Feb. 19 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
“At this time we are extremely pleased to be able to raise overnight purses for horsemen to record levels”, said director of racing Rob Marella. “The continued infusion of revenues from our slot operations will allow average daily overnight purses to grow to around $140,000 beginning with the next condition book on March 18”.
The weekend of July 31-Aug. 1 will feature the richest two-day purse distribution in track history. The highlight comes Aug. 1, with the 37th running of the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap. The purse for the track’s oldest race, run at five furlongs on the grass, is twice as large as last year. Sophomores will get the chance to run one mile over the grass in the $75,000 Capital City Handicap on the same card.
“The timing of the Governor’s Cup should make it an attractive race for horses eyeing a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in the fall,” Marella said. “We hope to attract the best grass sprinters in the east and midwest, and trainers also have three other rich stakes over the two days for their top horses.”
The inaugural running of the six-furlong $75,000 Femme Fatale Handicap for 3-year old fillies and the $100,000 Jennie Wade Handicap will be run July 31. The Jennie Wade is a five-furlong distaff sprint to complement the Governor’s Cup.
The open stakes season begins with a pair of six-furlong races. The $60,000 Changing Times for 3-year olds and up is on May 29, and fillies and mares do battle in the $60,000 Day Lilly Stakes on July 17.