04/20/2010 11:00PM

Oklahoma Classics program gets boost


The Oklahoma Classics Day program will be worth a record $1 million this fall in an agreement between the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association, the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, and Remington Park. The tentative date for the program of Oklahoma-bred stakes is Oct. 23.

Last year, the Classics at Remington offered eight divisional stakes with purses totaling $570,000. This year, each of the eight races will be increased in value, while two races will be added to the lineup, said R. D. Logan, executive director of the OTA.

"The two new ones will probably be starter handicaps, but they haven't been decided yet," he said.

The richest race on the card will again be the Classic, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It had a purse of $100,000 last year and will have a projected base purse of $150,000 for 2010. From there, more than $20,000 in breeders' awards will be available on the race, Logan said, bringing its total value to more than $170,000.

Funding for the purse increases is the result of a partnership with several tribal offtrack betting locations in Oklahoma.

"This puts [the program] on par with the Maryland Million, the California Cup, and some things like that with regard to other breeding programs," Logan said. "The primary goal is to put us up in that tier of breeders days, statebred days."

Classics Day annually includes stakes for 2-year-olds, for fillies and mares, sprints for males and females, and turf races for males and females.