01/15/2010 12:00AM

Prairie Meadows extends meet


Prairie Meadows will run an extended Thoroughbred meet during the summer of 2010 in an effort to attract more horsemen to the Iowa racetrack.

The Iowa Racing Commission on Thursday granted Prairie Meadows 103 days of racing in 2010, but that total will be split among Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, and Standardbreds. Prairie's Thoroughbred meet will span 67 days, from April 24 to Aug. 7 before giving way to a Quarter Horse meet and 10 days of harness racing in October.

Prairie in recent seasons has run two meets a year, the first for Thoroughbreds only, the second split between Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. In 2009, Prairie's Thoroughbred-only meet lasted 50 days, its mixed meet 32 days. Because of the format, some Midwest horsemen have been hesitant to stable at Prairie, citing limited opportunities during the mixed meet, and the fact that the Thoroughbred-only meet concluded at a time when other regional tracks were in the middle of summer race meets, making for an awkward transition.

The 2010 Thoroughbred meet is expected to offer an average of $228,000 per day in purse money.