03/11/2008 11:00PM

Philly Park bumps six races to $75K with stakes status


In order to give horses more opportunities to gain black type, Philadelphia Park has added six overnight stakes worth $75,000 apiece to its spring schedule.

The first in the series, the Bensalem for 4-year-olds and up at 6 1/2 furlongs, will be run Tuesday.

The list of 31 nominees includes Xchanger, who would be making his first start since finishing fourth in the Cigar Mile last November. Xchanger, a 4-year-old colt trained by Mark Shuman, is considered probable for the Bensalem, according to Sal Sinatra Jr., Philadelphia Park's director of racing.

Sinatra said the overnight stakes were created, at the request of horsemen, by bumping up the purses of the next six money allowances in the condition book from $50,000.

Tuesday is a strong simulcast day for Philly Park, Sinatra said, and by scheduling the overnight stakes for that day it avoids conflicting with other Mid-Atlantic tracks that run races for their top horses on weekends.

Sinatra said the overnight stakes will take a break for the summer, when Delaware Park and Monmouth Park put a strain on the local horse population, but he expects to resume the series in the fall.

The other five new overnight stakes are the Langhorne, for fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs, on March 25; the Norristown, for 4-year-olds and up at a mile and 70 yards, on April 15; the Bristol, for fillies and mares at a mile and 70 yards, on April 22; the Philmont, for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs, on April 29; and the Trevose, for 3-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs, on May 13. The Trevose also serves as the local prep for the $200,000 Jostle on June 14.