12/23/2005 1:00AM

Meet's top race now $400,000

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Lone Star Park has increased the purse of the Lone Star Park Handicap from $300,000 to $400,000 in one of two major improvements to the track's 37-race stakes schedule, which was announced Friday. In the other change, the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup will become the track's fifth graded race when it is run as a Grade 3 in 2006.

Lone Star will race 66 dates next year, from April 13 to July 23. Purses for the meet are expected to be similar to last year, when they averaged more than $210,000 a day, said Jeff Greco, general manager of Lone Star.

The Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap, run at 1 1/16 miles, is the richest race on the annual Lone Star Million Day card, a program that features six stakes worth more than $1 million May 29. Other races on the card include the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff.

"With an increase of the Lone Star Park Handicap to $400,000, we're optimistic we can someday land Texas its first Grade 2 fixture, and maybe even a Grade 1," said Greco.

The Dallas Turf Cup will be run over 1 1/8 miles on the grass on June 17.

Other major races at the meet include the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile on April 29 and the Grade 3, $300,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby at 1 1/16 miles on May 13.

In a significant distance change to a stakes, the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds has been increased from six furlongs to one mile. It will be decided July 1.

In all, stakes purses for the Lone Star meet will total $3.83 million.

2006 stakes schedule

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Thu.,April 13Premiere Stakes3YO & Up*1 Mile$50,000
Sat.,April 15Irving Distaff HandicapF&M, 3YO & Up7 1/2 Furlongs (T)75,000
Sat.,April 22Littlebitlively Stakes3YO & Up5 Furlongs (T)40,000
Sat.,April 29Texas Mile (G3)3YO & Up1 Mile300,000
Sat.,April 29Grand Prairie Turf Challenge3YO1 Mile (T)75,000
Sat.,April 29JEH Stallion Station StakesF&M, 3YO & Up*6 1/2 Furlongs50,000
Fri.,May 5Ford Express Stakes3YO & Up6 Furlongs50,000
Sat.,May 6Richland Hills Farm Stakes3YO F6 Furlongs50,000
Sat.,May 6Gold Nugget Stakes3YO & Up*7 1/2 Furlongs (T)40,000
Sat. May 13Walmac Lone Star Derby (G3)3YO1 1/16 Miles300,000
Sat.,May 13TX. Stallion Stakes (Stymie Div.)3YO C&G1 1/16 Miles125,000
Sat.,May 13TX. Stallion Stakes (Got Koko Div.)3YO F1 1/16 Miles125,000
Sat.,May 20Connecting Terms Stakes3YO & Up1 1/16 Miles (T)40,000
Mon.,May 29Lone Star Park Handicap (G3)3YO & Up1 1/16 Miles400,000
Mon.,May 29WinStar Distaff Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 Mile (T)200,000
Mon.,May 29Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes3YO1 1/16 Miles (T)150,000
Mon. May 29Stonerside Stakes3YO F7 Furlongs100,000
Mon.,May 29Beck Auto Turf Sprint HANDICAP3YO & Up5 Furlongs (T)100,000
Mon.,May 29Valid Expectations StakesF&M, 3YO & Up6 Furlongs100,000
Sat.,June 3Nevil/Kyocera Stakes3YO6 Furlongs40,000
Sat.,June 10TTA Sales Futurity (C&G Div.)2YO C&G5 Furlongs100,000
Sat.,June 10TTA Sales Futurity (F Div.)2YO F5 Furlongs100,000
Sat.,June 17Dallas Turf Cup Handicap (G3)3YO & Up1 1/8 Miles (T)200,000
Sat.,June 17Carter McGregor Jr. Mem. STAKES3YO & Up*6 Furlongs50,000
Sat.,June 24Miller Lite StakesF&M, 3YO & Up5 Furlongs (T)50,000
Sat.,July 1Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes3YO1 Mile100,000
Sat.,July 1Lone Star Oaks3YO F1 1/16 Miles (T)75,000
Sat.,July 8TX. Stallion STAKES (Staunch Avenger Dv.)2YO C&G5 1/2 Furlongs125,000
Sat.,July 8TX. Stallion STAKES (Pan Zareta Dv.)2YO F5 1/2 Furlongs125,000
Sat.,July 8Assault Stakes3YO & Up*1 1/16 Miles100,000
Sat.,July 8Allen Bogan Memorial StakesF&M, 3YO & Up*1 Mile75,000
Sat. July 8Harold V. Goodman MEM. Stakes3YO*6 1/2 Furlongs50,000
Sat.,July 8Valor Farm Stakes3YO F*6 Furlongs50,000
Sat.,July 15Fresa StakesF&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 Miles (T)40,000
Sat.,July 22Bob Johnson Mem. Stakes3YO & Up1 Mile (T)50,000
Sat.,July 22Silver Spur B.C. Stakes2YO F6 Furlongs65,000
Sun.,July 23Middleground B.C. Stakes2YO C&G6 Furlongs65,000

*Texas-breds