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Oaklawn Announces Purse Increases

Arkansas track to increase purses mean an all-time high for Oaklawn Park.

Oaklawn Park announced March 4 across-the-board increases of approximately $10,000 per day for the second half of its 54-day racing season.

All claiming races will see a purse increase of $500, and allowance and maiden special weight events will increase $2,000--an approximate 5% increase. These changes are effective with the March 4 racing card.

Oaklawn kicked off its 2010 season offering the highest purse structure in its 106-year history. Maiden special weight races were worth $36,000, with no purses lower than $15,000. With the increases, no purse at Oaklawn will be less than $15,500.

“We have had wonderful cooperation from our horsemen,” Oaklawn racing secretary Pat Pope said. “When we have been fortunate with the weather, our fans have responded by being very supportive of our racing product. We are now getting into the time of our season where the weather is typically beautiful, so we’re very happy to be able to reward our horsemen at this time.”

The purse increases can also be attributed to the popularity of Oaklawn’s newly expanded Instant Racing and Gaming Center, which opened May 2009 and underwent an expansion the week before opening day of the 2010 meet.

“The excitement since the announcement of the $5 million Apple Blossom Invitational has also kept Oaklawn in the minds of racing fans,” Pope said of the April 9 event designed to lure champions Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. “We have certainly benefitted from the publicity and positive vibes generated by that event.”