02/05/2015 1:46PM

Oaklawn boosts purses by $1,000 to $3,000 per race


Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will increase purses by $1,000 to $3,000 per race starting next Thursday, Feb. 12, the track announced. The boost comes a month into the meet that debuted with a $20 million expansion to its thriving gaming center.

“We have a unique business model that features live racing, Instant Racing, and electronic games of skill, and what we are seeing is that the total is greater than the sum of the parts,” said David Longinotti, director of racing for Oaklawn. “It’s working.”

Oaklawn will add $3,000 to the purses of open allowances and claiming races with a tag of $25,000 or more. The move will make some allowances worth as much as $68,000.

Purses for higher-end maiden-claiming races will be boosted by $2,000 each, while maiden special weights and lower-level claiming races each will be kicked up by $1,000. The increase brings the minimum purse at Oaklawn to $19,000.

Longinotti said there is a chance that purses could be boosted again before the season closes April 11.

“If the business trend we saw in January continues through February, there’s a very good chance we’ll be doing this one more time,” he said in a release issued Thursday.