11/21/2007 1:00AM

Expansion on horizon at Woodlands

EmailThe Woodlands in Kansas City, Kan., which is scheduled to open a slots casino in April or May, has requested a 32-date meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in 2008, said Jayme LaRocca, the track's general manager.

The proposed season would run from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. The request is expected to be heard by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission on Dec. 6.

LaRocca said purses for the meet are projected at $80,000 to $100,000 a day, as the casino is expected to be up and running several months in advance of the season. This year, the Woodlands ran 25 dates through Oct.o27, and purses averaged $41,000 a program.

LaRocca said that for the 2009 meet, the Woodlands will expand to 60 days of racing. The added dates are mandated by legislation, which calls for the track to race a minimum of 60 days a year once its casino is in operation for a full year. LaRocca said that for 2009, purses are projected to be $180,000 to $200,000 a day.

The Woodlands, which has separate racing facilities for horses and greyhounds, will first open a temporary casino in its greyhound grandstand. A permanent casino will be attached to the horse facility in a grand plan to place the dog track inside the horse track.