Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has announced a 28-race stakes program valued at $3.59 million for 2012.
The schedule doesn’t include the Oct. 20 West Virginia Breeders Classics, purses for which will be announced at a later date. Money for those races comes from a special state promotional fund.
The $1 million Charles Town Classic, which will be a grade II event in 2012, is one of six stakes set for April 14. Based on 2011 purses, the Classic is the co-second-richest race for 3-year-olds and up in the United States behind the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).
“The Charles Town Classic was one of the best and most productive races in the handicap division this year,” Charles Town director of racing operations Erich Zimny said.
The Classic program, which will begin an hour earlier at 5 p.m. EDT, will include a new stakes, the $250,000 Robert Hilton Memorial for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs. Based on purses this year, the race is the co-second-richest 3-year-old sprint, along with four other stakes.
The richest 3-year-old sprint stakes in the U.S. is the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes, which highlights the June 30 Charles Town Sprint Festival. The seven-furlong event heads a six-stakes program that evening.
The Sept. 22 “Race for the Ribbon” program of six stakes is headed by the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks, the richest sprint in the country for 3-year-old fillies, based on 2011 purses.
Sixteen West Virginia-bred stakes each worth $50,000 are scheduled throughout the year at Charles Town. The state-bred races scheduled for August and September serve as lead-ins to the West Virginia Breeders Classics.
Charles Town was approved for 235 live racing days in 2012.