11/23/2016 12:48PM

Charles Town stakes schedule set; $215K trimmed from stakes purses

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Charles Town will run 23 stakes in 2017 – the same number as this year – but has pared $215,000 from its schedule.

The purse of the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, the West Virginia track’s signature race, will remain $1.25 million. The purse of the meet’s other graded race, the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks, has been trimmed from $350,000 to $300,000.

The Charles Town Classic card, on April 22, and Oaks Day, Sept. 23, will each offer an extra stakes this year.

The Classic program now has eight stakes. The Wild and Wonderful, a $100,000 race in 2016, has been renamed the Russell Road, had its purse reduced to $50,000, and been moved from the Oaks card to April 22.

Two other stakes on Classic Day have had their purses lowered. The Sugar Maple will go from $150,000 to $100,000, and the Robert Hilton Memorial will be worth $85,000 rather than $100,000.

The Sadie Hawkins and the Frank Gall Memorial have been moved to the Charles Town Oaks undercard. The Pink Ribbon, one of seven stakes that night, has had its purse reduced from $100,000 to $50,000.

The West Virginia Breeders’ Classic races are scheduled for Oct. 14. As usual, the races and purses will be announced at a later date.

Racing days for the first half of the Charles Town season have been approved. The meet will begin Jan. 11 and run Wednesday through Saturday nights through May 20. Dates for the second half of the year are expected to be addressed at the West Virginia Racing Commission’s December meeting.