06/04/2003 11:00PM

New schedule, more simulcast outlets

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AURORA, Col. - Arapahoe Park opens its 45-day meet Saturday with a new Saturday-through-Tuesday schedule, and a 10-fold increase in out-of-state simulcast outlets.

Highlighting opening weekend is the reappearance of local legend The Pen Pal, a Quarter Horse who is unbeaten in 15 local starts, in Sunday's $15,000 Dash for Speed Handicap.

Last year, Arapahoe Park raced 42 days, Friday through Sunday. Management hopes the new schedule will increase national visibility, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays, when most tracks are dark.

The Arapahoe signal will be exported to some 200 sites in Florida, Illinois, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. Wagering also will be available via Television Games Network, Youbet, Americatab, and Darwin All Sports.

The Thoroughbred stakes schedule is headed by the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity for 2-year-olds on Aug. 24, and the $50,000 Arapahoe Park Handicap on closing day. Last year's Arapahoe Park Handicap winner, Maysville Slew, is expected back to defend his crown.

The Quarter Horse schedule includes the $140,000 Mile High Derby and $80,000 Mile High Futurity on Aug. 24; the $70,000 Rocky Mountain Derby, June 21; the $110,000 Cherry Creek Futurity, June 22; the $120,000 Rocky Mountain Futurity, July 26; and the $75,000 Aurora Derby, July 20.

Arapahoe also will run the $50,000 Harvest Cup Futurity for paints on June 22; the $30,000 Western States Futurity for Appaloosas, Aug. 23; and two $25,000 Arabian stakes, the Little Electric Claiming Sprint, Aug. 17, and the Mardi Gras Casino Classic, Aug. 24.