The 25th running of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, a night of stakes for West Virginia-bred horses, will offer $1.345 million in purses, officials said Aug. 18.
The event will be held Oct. 15 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races with first post set for 7:17 p.m. EDT. Approval from the West Virginia Racing Commission is needed for the event, purse money for which comes from a special fund.
The card will be highlighted by the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic at 1 1/8 miles.
The Breeders Classics, recently named one of the regions “Top 20 Events” by the Southeast Tourism Society, has experienced its share of growth, co-founder and president Carol Holden said. The event was one of the early state-bred championship days in the United States.
“It’s just incredible to look back and reflect on how much the West Virginia Breeders Classics has grown and prospered throughout the last 25 years,” Holden said in a statement. “We started in 1987 with five races worth $200,000, and in 2009 it became the first $2 million race day in this country for horses bred in one state.
“That would have been hard to imagine when this all started.”
Officials said the anticipated $1.345 million in purses is up $70,000 from 2010. And according to Charles Town, the 2009 program set an all-time record for handle on the card, shattering the previous mark by 27%.
“It has become a great day showcasing the best the West Virginia breeding program has to offer,” Holden said. “We hope to see the fan interest in the West Virginia Breeders Classics continue to move forward.”
The West Virginia Breeders Classics has been raced 23 times at Charles Town and once at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
The event will be aired live during a 30-minute broadcast on Comcast SportsNet with a replay on FOX affiliates the next day.
The following races will make up the all-stakes program:
$500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic, 3YO and up, 1 1/8 miles
$250,000 West Virginia Jefferson Security Bank “Cavada” Breeders Classic, F&M, 3YO and up, 7 furlongs
$85,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic Distaff, F&M, 3YO and up, 1 1/8 miles
$85,000 West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association “Onion Juice” Breeders Classic, 3YO and up, 7 furlongs
$85,000 West Virginia “Dash for Cash” Breeders Classic, 3YO and up, 4 1/2 furlongs
$85,000 West Virginia Lottery Breeders Classic, 3YO, 7 furlongs
$85,000 West Virginia Division of Tourism Breeders Classic, F, 3YO, 7 furlongs
$85,000 West Virginia Vincent Moscarelli Memorial Breeders Classic, 2YO, 6 1/2 furlongs
$85,000 West Virginia Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic, F, 2YO, 4 1/2 furlongs