06/02/2006 12:00AM

Oklahoma Derby purse elevated to $250,000


The purse of the Oklahoma Derby has been increased from $150,000 to $250,000 for this year's running on Oct. 20, largely because of the success of a gaming casino that opened last fall at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Derby is one of 29 stakes worth a sum of more than $2 million scheduled for the Thoroughbred meet that runs Aug. 4 through Nov. 28.

Remington has a casino on the second floor of its grandstand that houses 650 electronic, bingo-based gaming machines. The casino opened Nov. 21, and through the end of April it had generated approximately $3.4 million for Thoroughbred purses, according to records kept by the Oklahoma Racing Commission.

The funds make for one of the richest racing programs in years at Remington. For the first condition book, purses will average $185,000 a day compared with about $100,000 in 2005.

"The casino has absolutely reinvigorated Remington Park," said Scott Wells, the track's vice president and general manager. "And it's not only provided its own form of entertainment. It's brought a lot of new customers and we can actually see a positive impact on our horse racing."

Remington will close out its Quarter Horse meet this weekend with increases in handle and attendance over last year, said Wells.

The 2006 Oklahoma Derby at 1 1/8 miles will be run again on a Friday night. It will be supported by five other stakes, including the MEC Mile for 2-year-olds, which has had its purse boosted from $75,000 to $100,000. Also to be run that day are the $100,000 Remington Green and the $100,000 Remington Park Breeders' Cup Oaks, both of which were worth $40,000 in 2005. The program also includes the $50,000 E. L. Gaylord Memorial for 2-year-old fillies, and the $75,000 Sprint Championship.

The $150,000 DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup on turf is Sept. 4, and the annual Oklahoma Classics Day program of seven stakes for eligible Oklahoma-breds is Sept. 30.

All stakes this year are worth a minimum of $50,000. As for overnight races, the first condition book lists purses for maiden special weight races at $25,000, and open allowance races at $35,000.

2006 stakes schedule

Fri.,Aug. 4Adena Matchmaker Turf SprintF&M, 3YO & Up5 furlongs (T)$50,000
Sat.,Aug. 5Brother Brown Stakes3YO & Up5 furlongs (T)50,000
Mon.,Aug. 7Ponca City Stakes3YO F6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Aug. 19Silver Goblin Stakes3YO & Up*6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Aug. 26Black Mesa StakesF&M, 3YO & Up*6 furlongs50,000
Mon.,Aug. 28Red Earth Derby3YO*7 1/2 furlongs (T)50,000
Mon.,Sept. 4Edward J. DeBartolo Mem. B.C.3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Mon.,Sept. 4Clever Trevor Stakes2YO6 furlongs50,000
Mon.,Sept. 4Ricks Memorial StakesF&M, 3YO & Up1 mile (T)75,000
Sat.,Sept. 9Chuck Taliaferro Mem. Stakes3YO & Up6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics Lassie2YO F*6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics Juvenile2YO, c&g*6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics Sprint3YO & Up*6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics Filly and Mare TurfF&M, 3YO & Up*7 1/2 furlongs (T)50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics Turf3YO & Up*1 mile (T)50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics DistaffF&M, 3YO & Up*1 mile 70 yards50,000
Sat.,Sept. 30OK. Classics Classic3YO & Up*1 1/16 miles100,000
Fri.,Oct. 20E.L. Gaylord MEM. Stakes2YO F6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Fri.,Oct. 20Remington Sprint Championship3YO & Up7 furlongs75,000
Fri.,Oct. 20Remington Park B.C. Oaks3YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Fri.,Oct. 20Remington Green Stakes3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)100,000
Fri.,Oct. 20Remington MEC Mile2YO1 mile100,000
Fri.,Oct. 20Oklahoma Derby3YO1 1/8 miles250,000
Mon.,Oct. 30Osage Hills Stakes3YO & Up*5 furlongs (T)50,000
Sat.,Nov. 4Ada StakesF&M, 3YO & Up6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Nov. 11Lady's Secret StakesF&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles75,000
Sat.,Nov. 18Cimarron Stakes2YO F7 1/2 furlongs (T)50,000
Tue.,Nov. 28Centennial Stakes2YO, c&g1 mile (T)50,000
Tue.,Nov. 28Governor's Cup3YO & Up1 1/16 miles75,000

* Oklahoma-bred