Mountaineer Track

Mountaineer Track

Tom Lamarra

Mountaineer Calendar: 210 Racing Days in 2011

Mountaineer in West Virginia has set its calendar of live racing for 2011.

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will offer 210 days of live Thoroughbred racing in 2011 beginning March 1.

The calendar is similar to that of 2010, when the West Virginia track went dark in January and February but maintained its full schedule by racing five days a week for 10 months.

Mountaineer added several days to the end of its 2010 calendar and will race through Dec. 30.

In 2011 racing will be held on the usual Friday-through-Tuesday schedule with first post time of 7 p.m. ET. Through August, 10-race programs will be scheduled; from September through December, nine races a day will be offered.

The only exception to night racing will be Aug. 6, the date of the grade II West Virginia Derby. That Saturday program will begin at 2 p.m.

Through Dec. 28 (208 racing days) purses at Mountaineer averaged $117,604 per card, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Purses totaled more than $24.46 million for the year.

Because of changes in state law that shifted some purse money to shore up a workers’ compensation fund, and an overall decline in gaming revenue, Mountaineer purses have declined over the past five or six years. In 2005, for instance, purses totaled $37.76 million for a daily average of $151,642 over 216 days of racing, according to TJCIS.

This year’s stakes schedule has not yet been released. In 2010, several stakes were dropped from the calendar to maintain overnight purses.