One reason for the positive change at the Arkansas track is that average daily purses at Oaklawn Park are reaching $500,000. That number would be a first in the track’s history, which features historical racing machines and electronic games of skill at its facilities.
The increase in purses will begin on February 20th. The minimum allowance race is now worth $74,000. Maiden special weight races are worth $70,000. The new minimum for purses is $21,500.
Three of the main stakes at Oaklawn Park are now worth the following:
Honeybee (gr. III) – $200,000 purse – race held March 12th
Razorback Handicap (gr. III) – $350,000 purse – race held March 19th
Azeri Stakes (gr. II) – $350,000 purse – race held March 19th
The Rebel Stakes (gr. II) card will be worth almost $2 million, which makes it Oaklawn’s second richest day, trailing only the Arkansas Derby (gr. I).
“From day one, Oaklawn has benefited from great weather and more importantly, the quality of our races has been tremendous with a lot of full fields,” said director of racing David Longinotti.
It’s been a busy couple of days for Longinotti, who is in the middle of a parking dispute with the city of Hot Springs. “We bought some property over there. We have some lots over there now, and we recently brought some property over there that has been parking for 20, 25 years and that’s not going to change,” said Longinotti in regards to the parking issue.