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Philly Park Offers Record Stakes

Philadelphia Park's 2008 stakes schedule includes 31 stakes, with record high purses.

From Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack

Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack released a 2008 stakes schedule Feb. 21 that calls for 31 stakes to be run over the track's 12-month calendar, with purses totaling a record $5.475 million.

The Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) will remain in its Labor Day slot and will again carry a purse of $1 million, and the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) will again be placed five weeks prior to the Breeders' Cup, but will now run under stakes conditions rather than a handicap.

Other notable changes to the 2008 schedule include moving the $1-million "Pennsylvania Day" back to late August and the return of the Greenwood Cup, which will now carry a purse of $250,000 that includes a $50,000 Breeders' Cup bonus.

Pennsylvania Day had recently been run as a big July event, but the day has been moved this year to Aug. 23. That creates a huge event at the track, as it coincides with Travers Stakes (gr. I) day at Saratoga.

Nine Pennsylvania-bred stakes are set for that day, highlighted by the second running of the $125,000 Smarty Jones Classic.

Here's a rundown of the track's other major stakes set for the 2008 season:

--May 24: $250,000 My Juliet Stakes, six furlongs, fillies and mares, 3 years old and up
--June 14: $200,000 Jostle Stakes, six furlongs, 3-year-old fillies
--June 28: $200,000 Don Le Vine Memorial, seven furlongs, 3 years old and up
--July 19: $200,000, Dr. James Penny Memorial, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 3 years old and up
--Sept 1: $250,000 Turf Monster Handicap, five furlongs, 3 years old and up
--Sept 13: $250,000 PTHA President's Cup, 1 1/8 miles, 3 years old and up
--Sept 27: $250,000 Gallant Bob Handicap, six furlongs, 3-year-olds
--Sept 27: $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap, five furlongs, fillies and mares, 3 years old and up