04/23/2003 12:00AM

Oklahoma Derby date pushed back

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In a major scheduling change, the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby will now be held at the end of the Remington Park meet this fall instead of the beginning, with the new date set for Nov. 16.

"By placing it later in the year, it gives everybody an opportunity for a last graded event on dirt for 3-year-olds," said Fred Hutton, racing secretary at Remington.

The purse for the Oklahoma Derby, which will still be run at 1 1/8 miles, has been reduced to $150,000-added after being worth $250,000 in 2002.

The race is the richest of 20 stakes races worth approximately $1 million this season at Remington.

The meet will open Aug. 22 and run 57 days through Nov. 30.

Other stakes at the meet include the $125,000 Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap, to be run at 1 1/8 miles on turf Sept. 1, and the $75,000-added Remington MEC Mile for 2-year-olds Nov. 30.

The Oklahoma Classics Day program, which features seven divisional stakes races for statebreds, will be held Sept. 27. The highlight is the $75,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles. All of the other races are worth $35,000.