03/16/2011 1:12PM

Oaklawn Park raises purses, adds two new stakes


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Oaklawn Park has added two stakes races to its racing program as part of a third round of purse increases announced by the track Wednesday. It also has bumped up the purse of the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap on April 14 from $150,000 to $200,000.

The new stakes cover two different divisions. An unnamed route for fillies and mares will be worth $100,000 and will be part of the April 13 card that was added to the racing schedule last month to make up for some of the winter weather cancellations earlier in the meet. The $75,000 Bachelor, for 3-year-olds at six furlongs, will be run April 15.

Oaklawn also has boosted the purse for a pair of one-mile races for 3-year-olds, the Northern Spur and the Instant Racing for fillies from $75,000 to $100,000. They are both to be run April 16. All of the stakes are part of the Racing Festival of the South, when Oaklawn puts on at least one major race a day for the final week of its meet, from April 9-16.

Overnight purse increases were to go into effective with Thursday’s card. Claiming races will be increased by $300 each, while all other overnight races will be bumped up by $1,000. Through the course of the three overnight purse increases made at the meet, the value of a maiden special weight purse has risen from $36,000 to $41,000.