09/18/2008 12:00AM

Charles Town plots $1M stakes

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Charles Town intends to offer an open stakes race worth up to $1million next season.

The West Virginia track announced on Thursday the creation of the Charles Town Classic, a 11/8-mile race for 4-year-olds and up, scheduled for April 18, 2009.

The new race, the richest in the track's 75-year history, will have a guaranteed purse of $500,000, with an additional $500,000 available to graded stakes winners.

Although all the details have yet to be finalized, Grade 1 winners within the past two years will race for a $1 million prize. The tiered purse structure will offer additional money above $500,000 to horses who have won Grade 2 or Grade 3 races.

Dickie Moore, the track's general manager, credited the revenue generated by slot machines for allowing Charles Town to expand its stakes package significantly.