04/11/2008 12:00AM

Lucrative meeting expands to 100 days


Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., which ran an inaugural 28-day meet last September with purses averaging approximately $325,000 per day, will run 100 days this year. The meet opens May 9, runs through Sept. 27, and is expected to have a daily purse distribution of $200,000. Purses at Presque Isle are supplemented by revenue from the racino's 2,000 slot machines.

Presque Isle Downs will run 25 stakes this year worth more than $2.5 million. Six open and six Pennsylvania-bred stakes have been added to last year's slate of 13 stakes.

The $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters, for fillies and mares at six furlongs, will again be the highlight of the meet and is scheduled for Sept. 13. The $175,000 Presque Isle Mile also returns and highlights the July 4 card. The remainder of the open races will have purses of $100,000, including the first race of the meet, the Inaugural. The meet's 12 Pennsylvania-bred stakes will each be worth $75,000.

Presque Isle's races are conducted over a one-mile synthetic Tapeta surface.

Racing secretary Dave Frizzell received stall requests for more than 1,500 horses for a barn area that holds 500.

"We had interest from all over the country, from Southern California to Maryland to Florida and everywhere in between," Frizzell said.