Hot Springs, Ark. (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) – The final three weeks of racing will feature the highest purses in Oaklawn’s history after the track announced its third increase of the meet that has benefitted greatly from good weather and overwhelming support from fans.
All overnight purses will increase by $1,000 per race and three stakes have been bumped. The Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters Friday, April 15 goes from $100,000 to $150,000, the Northern Spur for 3-year-olds at one mile increases from $125,000 to $150,000 and the Instant Racing for 3-year-old filly sprinters bumps up from $125,000 to $150,000. The Northern Spur and Instant Racing both support the $1 million Arkansas Derby card April 16.
“We are extremely proud of the quality of racing we’ve offered this season and it will only get better heading into the last part of our meet,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti. “Our field size is among the highest in the country with an average of 9.75 and two of our marquee 3-year-old stakes have had full 14-horse fields. Between the good weather and top-notch horses, the fans have responded and it shows in our ability to raise purses for a third time.”
Overall, Oaklawn has added $250,000 to its stakes program since the beginning of the meet. Maiden Special Weights, which were $68,000 when the track opened Jan. 15, are now $76,000 and Allowance races, which started as high as $75,000, are now above $80,000. The minimum purse is $23,500.
The 2016 Oaklawn meet continues through Saturday, April 16.