08/04/2015 1:28PM

Parx purses soar at festival


The first condition book for the Fall Festival at Parx Racing is out, and the purses are staggering.

Purses at Parx will average $500,000 a day during the festival, which will run Aug. 29 through Oct. 20. Last Friday, Parx added five $150,000 stakes to its schedule for the festival.

First-level allowance races will offer $86,000. On the first day of the festival, there are two no-conditions allowance races in the condition book, each with a purse of $100,000. One is a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds that will serve as a prep for the Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob on Sept. 19. The other is for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and 70 yards.

Six-furlong maiden races have purses of $84,000. A $10,000 claiming race at two turns is worth $50,000; $16,000 claimers have a purse of $60,000; and $20,000 claimers run for $65,000.

The first of the new stakes will be the Bayern for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 19. Each year, this race will be named in honor of the previous year’s Pennsylvania Derby winner, according to Sam Elliott, the director of racing at Parx.

The other new stakes are the Hall of Fame, for 2-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 26; The Valley Forge, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up Oct. 3; the Bensalem Stakes, for fillies and mares at a mile and 70 yards Oct. 10; and the Roamin Rachel, for fillies and mares at six furlongs Oct. 17.

First preference for entries during the festival goes to trainers stabled at Parx.

◗ According to Mountaineer officials, all-sources wagering on the nine-race West Virginia Derby card was $3,003,673, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.