12/21/2005 12:00AM

Will Rogers Downs track report


There has been a lot of activity lately at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., which last conducted live racing in 2001. Earlier this month, Will Rogers opened a 250-machine electronic gaming casino, and revenue from it will help fund purses during a 42-date race meet scheduled to open on Feb. 24.

The mixed meet will feature Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

Will Rogers was purchased by the Cherokee Nation in March 2004, and the new owners have put $2 million into the small track, including renovation of its one-mile oval. There are 13 barns at the facility, and an open-air grandstand that seats 2,700.

The casino area also includes a simulcasting parlor, restaurant, dance floor, and stage. The live meet will run through May 28.