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Oaklawn releases richest condition book in track history


September 4, 2015     E-mail this page to a friend!

Editor’s note: It’s outside of TRJ—The Racing Journal territory, but it’s pretty instructive with regard to what can happen when state legislators work with the racing industry to strengthen the industry, create jobs, and add to state tax coffers. it is no coincidence that Oaklawn’s eight-year streak of purse increases began when the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the law that authorized Oaklawn to add “expanded games of skill,” also known as historic racing.

Oaklawn has released Condition Book 1 for its live race meet that begins January 15, 2016, featuring the richest purses in track history for the eighth consecutive year.

Maiden Special Weights will be worth $68,000, an $8,000 increase over where they started in 2015, and open allowance races will be worth as much as $75,000, a $9,000 increase over where they started last year. The minimum purse will be $21,000 in 2016, up $3,000 from 2015

Overall, Oaklawn projects total purses of $27 million with an average distribution of $475,000 per day. This is a 12% increase over the 2015 meet and a 76% increase over where purses were when the streak of increases began in 2008.

“Oaklawn has had to reinvent itself several times over the course of our 112 years, but what has never changed is our commitment to offering world-class Thoroughbred racing,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti. “We are extremely proud of our business model that has helped generate higher purses year after year. These purses and the tremendous support we get from Arkansas racing fans are the biggest reasons Oaklawn is able to attract horses like Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.”

Oaklawn’s growing purses are thanks in part to booming business in its award-winning gaming operation that was expanded for a second time at the beginning of this year. Oaklawn Anywhere, an in-state advanced deposit wagering platform also has been very successful, generating over $1 million in purses in 2015 and closer to $1.5 million in 2016.

Oaklawn, which had previously announced a record $7.55 million stakes schedule in 2016, opens Friday, January 15, and the season runs through Saturday, April 16. Horsemen seeking stall applications and condition books can email conditionbook@oaklawn.com or call the Oaklawn racing office at (800) OAKLAWN or (501) 701-5570. Stall applications, which are due October 29, and the first condition book are also available at www.Oaklawn.com.