Charles Town Races & Slots will offer a guaranteed purse of $1-million for the 2010 edition of the Charles Town Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles. It joins a handful of non-Breeders’ Cup stakes offering such a purse in the United States.
In 2009, the inaugural Classic offered up to $1 million if the winner previously had won a grade I stakes. The winner, Researcher, raced for a $600,000 purse having won a grade III event. He defeated grade I winners Commentator and Mast Track.
The Classic, run around three turns, is scheduled for April 17 at the West Virginia track. Also on the program are the $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes for fillies and mares at seven furlongs (around two turns); the $100,000 Blue and Gold Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs; and the $75,000 Webb Snyder Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 4 1/2 furlongs.
The open stakes schedule at Charles Town includes two other “big event” days.
The Charles Town Races & Slots Sprint Festival is set for June 19. The program is headed by the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs. Track officials said the Red Legend, based on 2009 purses, would be the richest event for 3-year-olds at less than one mile in the U.S.
Other stakes on the Sprint Festival card are each worth $100,000: the Charles Town Invitational Dash for 3-year-olds and up at 4 1/2 furlongs; the Lady Charles Town Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and 4 1/2 furlongs; and the Wild and Wonderful Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.
On Sept. 18, the track will host the Charles Town Race for the Ribbon. The headliner is the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. It would be the richest race for 3-year-old fillies at less than one mile in the U.S.
Other races on the Sept. 18 program, held to raise awareness for breast cancer research, are the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs; $100,000 Miss Shenandoah Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 4 1/2 furlongs; and the $75,000 Pink Ribbon for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.
The date for the West Virginia Breeders Classic for state-bred runners hasn’t been set. This year, the program offered nine stakes worth a total of $2 million.