02/20/2009 12:00AM

Penn National boosts open stakes


Penn National Race Course has doubled the purse for its oldest and most prestigious stakes as part of a beefed-up open stakes schedule for 2009.

The Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap, a five-furlong grass race that will be contested for the 37th time on Aug. 1, will now be worth $200,000.

The track also boosted the purse of the Jenny Wade Handicap, a five-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares on July 31, by $40,000 to $100,000 and added three new six-furlong stakes.

The Changing Times for 3-year-olds and up on May 29 and the Day Lilly for fillies and mares on July 17 will both be worth $60,000. The Femme Fatale, for 3-year-old fillies on July 31, carries a purse of $75,000.

Penn National is also bringing back the Capital City Handicap at an increased value of $75,000. A one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, the Capital City was last run in 2006 with a purse of $40,950. It will serve as the supporting stakes on the Governor's Cup card.

Stakes restricted to Pennsylvania-breds will be announced at a future date.

Average daily overnight purses are due to get an increase of about 10 percent to $140,000 beginning with the next condition book on March 18. Overnight purses currently average roughly $127,000.