05/07/2002 11:00PM

Remington tinkers with two major stakes

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Remington Park in Oklahoma City has made adjustments to its two richest Thoroughbred stakes, the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap, for its upcoming meet that runs 76 days, from Aug. 10 to Dec. 23.

The purse for the Oklahoma Derby has been reduced from $300,000 to $250,000, but it will be an added money race this year. So if 10 horses were to start, for example, the purse would swell back up to $300,000. The 1 1/8-mile race is scheduled for Aug. 25.

As for the DeBartolo Memorial, the track's premier turf offering on Sept. 29, the purse remains intact at $150,000, but the distance of the race has been shortened from 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/8 miles.

The track is still in the process of finalizing the lineup for Oklahoma Classics Day, an annual series of seven statebred stakes that last year was worth $365,000. This meet, the races will be held Oct. 27.

In other changes to an 18-race stakes schedule, which is worth $1 million not counting Oklahoma Classics Day, the purse for the Remington Green on Nov. 16 has been cut from $100,000 to $30,000; while the Governor's Cup on Dec. 21 has been reduced from $75,000 to $50,000.

Last year, the Governor's Cup shared a date with the MEC Mile, but this year the $75,000 race for 3-year-olds will be held Dec. 1.

Daily purses will average $80,000.

* In what should prove to be a boost for purses, the Oklahoma Legislature has lifted restrictions on simulcasts. In the past, Remington was limited to two full-card simulcast signals when racing live and six at other times, but now there are no limitations. The change should enable Remington to get its signal into more outlets now that the track can receive more races from out of state, according to track officials.

* There will be 20 races at Remington Park on Friday. The track is running Quarter Horse trials for the $500,000 Heritage Place Futurity on June 1, and as a result, special post will be 1 p.m. Central.