11/29/2012 5:10PM

Charles Town Classic to be worth $1.5 million in 2013, with $1 million going to the winner


In an attempt to make its signature race stand out from the crowd, Charles Town has dramatically raised the overall purse and the winner’s share of the Charles Town Classic.

The West Virginia track announced Thursday that the Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile Classic will get a $500,000 purse boost to $1.5 million. That puts the Classic behind only seven of the Breeders’ Cup races and the Kentucky Derby among the richest races for Thoroughbreds in the United States.

Whereas there were 20 races in the U.S. worth $1 million in 2012, at $1.5 million the 2013 Classic will be tied for ninth with the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on the list of richest races. World-wide, counting only main track events for older males, the Classic will rank behind only the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, and three races in Japan.

As added incentive to bring elite horses to West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, Charles Town will alter the traditional split of the Classic purse by awarding $1 million to the winner, with the $500,0000 remainder split among all other finishers.

“We knew we’d always draw a very good field with the $1 million number,” said Erich Zimny, Charles Town’s vice president of racing operations. “But, the hope is, by moving it to $1.5 million and giving the seven-figure amount to the winner it makes it that much more attractive to those one or two horses on the fence who have the ability to move the race up another notch.”

In addition to the increased money available to all starters, horses who have captured a Grade 1 event in the past two years will get all entry and starting fees waived for the Classic.

The fifth running of the Charles Town Classic is scheduled for April 20. It will be part of a 13-race card that begins at 5 p.m. Eastern. The remainder of the stakes on Charles Town Classic Day, as well as the track’s complete 2013 stakes calendar, will be released within the next several weeks.

Gordon More than 1 year ago
I am amused that AOL Anonymous, an obvious Kentuckian, needs to talk down this develop. Horse racing needs to reach out to any market willing to promote the sport and fans of horse racing EVERYWHERE, not just Kentucky, New York and California where 85% of graded races are clustered at. The King of Sports can expand to new markets...and the common people of Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia....etc., etc., or the bluebloods can watch it fade into irrelevancy like it's been doing for 15-20 years now.
1971 Whippet More than 1 year ago
Sorry but I still associate CT with the bottom claimers, like any good old bullring. Just sayin'.
Marvin Rosenberg More than 1 year ago
when our gambling starts in maryland,purses get better,md. racing gets back to normal and chuckstown goes back to a bullring for $5000 horses...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets see if trainers opt for the CT Classic April 20 or the about to be Grade 1 Alysheba on Oaks day at Churchill. Last year Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man were 2nd and 3rd in the Alysheba, won by Succesful Dan. Beats the hell out of who was in the CT Classic. Glad to see it's not all about the money. The Alysheba will have a better field next year too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nates Mineshaft and Apart were in the Alysheba too.
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
not now it wont..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't care if the purse is $10 million. No horse of mine will ever step foot in West Virginia. Or Indiana or Pennsylvania... The Charles Town track is a joke. The turns are too tight and hard on horses legs. Only a matter of time until a good horse goes down with an injury there. Hopefully the spill that follows won't be that bad but it probably will.
Guy More than 1 year ago
Ah yes..an "anonymous" post from someone who will never have a horse that can get into this race anyway.
Marvin Rosenberg More than 1 year ago
hadrian More than 1 year ago
Funny, I found the workers at Presque Isle, Charles Town and Indiana Downs a great deal more friendly than those at Churchill Downs. By all means, keep your horses and your elitist attitude away from the good people of West Virginia (CT Classic, WV Derby)...and Pennsylvania (Pa Derby, Cotillion, PI Masters Stakes) who are trying to be a part of this sport. The Mansion at Churchill Downs is benefitting you and views. (Cough).
Robert More than 1 year ago
It is a nice wrinkle to add and should draw some top horses
jttf More than 1 year ago
older horses getting more money is very good thing for horse racing. more incentive to race at 4 and 5 years of age. should be a grade 1. the 2011 race had one of the best fields assembled that year.
Guy More than 1 year ago
Well done!!
Hadrian Marcus More than 1 year ago
Nice job, Charles Town. Good to see tracks support the Handicap Division rather than everyone fawn over the 3 year olds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it. We need more of this type of stuff.