03/23/2016 2:42PM

Oaklawn raises purses for third time at meet


Oaklawn Park will increase purses for the third time this meet starting next Thursday, when all overnight purses will be boosted by $1,000 a race, the track announced Wednesday. Oaklawn also has kicked up the value of three of its stakes for 3-year-olds, the Bachelor, Instant Racing, and Northern Spur, to $150,000 each.

The increase will put the purse of maiden special weight races at $76,000 after starting the meet at $68,000. The purses for some allowances will now be worth more than $80,000, while the minimum offering for a $5,000 claiming race will be $23,500.

“We are extremely proud of the quality of racing we’ve offered this season, and it will only get better heading into the last part of our meet,” David Longinotti, director of racing for Oaklawn, said in a release. “Our field size is among the highest in the country, with an average of 9.75, and two of our marquee 3-year-old stakes have had full 14-horse fields. Between the good weather and top-notch horses, the fans have responded, and it shows in our ability to raise purses for a third time.”

The Bachelor, at six furlongs April 15, is getting a $50,000 boost from its original value of $100,000. The Instant Racing, for fillies at six furlongs, and the Northern Spur, for 3-year-olds at a mile, will be boosted in value by $25,000 each. Those two races are part of the Arkansas Derby card on the closing program of the meet April 16.

Oaklawn has added a total of $250,000 to its stakes purses since the meet opened in January, according to the release Wednesday.