Remington Park Jams Entry Box for Opening Weekend in Oklahoma City
The 2017 Thoroughbred season at Remington Park begins Aug. 25, and the entry box got jammed for Friday night’s opener at the Oklahoma City track. A total of 110 horses entered for the nine-race program, for an average of more than 12 horses per race. The Saturday night card of nine races will average more than 10 horses a race.
“I think that’s just indicative of how eager people are to get here to run – on a good surface for good purses,” said Scott Wells, president of Remington. “It’s very encouraging – the national average is 7.38 starters per race – and I hope bettors nationwide take notice of our payouts, which rank among the nation’s highest.”
The main attraction of the opening weekend is the Remington Bark. The event allows owners to bring their four-legged friends to the track to browse offerings from vendors, score free canine-themed “wag bags,” participate in a doggie costume contest, and support local pet-focused rescues and charities.
Remington Bark also features charity races on the Remington Park homestretch involving guests’ pet dogs. Admission to Remington Bark is free and guests don’t have to race a pup to enjoy the festivities. Registration for one of the races is $25 and benefits local pet- and animal-related charities. Remington Bark activities start at 6 p.m. with live thoroughbred horse racing set for 7 p.m.
The biggest date on the horse racing calendar is the Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 24. The day will feature stakes races with a combined purse nearing $1.4 million, culminating in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.
Remington Park saw a boost in wagering in recent years, as more fans and players wagered at Remington via simulcast. In 2015, Remington Park saw record purses and its 3rd straight of handle increase to more than $62 million during the 67-day meet. The export handle that year was up nearly 12% on the races from Oklahoma City. Last year, the track handle dipped 8% during the 2016 meet, and off-track dipped 7%.
But another strong racing season is expected during this year’s 67-day Thoroughbred meet that ends with the race of the season for 2-year-olds on Dec. 17 with the $400,000 Springboard Mile.
Racing at Remington Park runs Wednesday through Saturday with first race post time at 7:00pm ET.