04/23/2008 12:00AM

Arapahoe plans 36-day meet

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Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colo., will conduct 20 stakes for Thoroughbreds during its mixed-breed meet that opens May 24. The track is scheduled to run 36 dates, through Aug. 10.

There are also nine stakes on tap for Quarter Horses, the richest of which is the Grade 2, $125,000 Mile High Futurity. It will share a card with the $30,000-added Gold Rush Futurity for Thoroughbreds on the closing-day program.

The Gold Rush, for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, is the richest Thoroughbred stakes of the meet. Other highlights on the schedule include the $20,000-added Colorado Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on July 20, and the $20,000-added Arapahoe Park Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 3. There will be a Thoroughbred stakes double on July 19, with a pair of $25,000 stakes for horses bred in Colorado.

Arapahoe will race three days a week, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the exception being a holiday Monday card on Memorial Day, May 26.

"Our 2008 closely mirrors that of 2007, except we race Fridays instead of Mondays," said Bill Powers, director of racing and plant manager at Arapahoe. "The early start date of Memorial Day weekend worked so well for us last year that we decided to do it again in 2008."

Stuart Slagle, who last served as a racing official at Sunland Park, has been named racing secretary at Arapahoe. Slagle was the racing secretary at the Downs at Albuquerque in 2007.