Effective Saturday, Oaklawn is increasing overnight purses by as much as $3,000 and three stakes by $50,000. For the first time in its 112-year history, Oaklawn is approaching an average daily purse distribution of $500,000 thanks in part to good weather and full fields that have attracted large on-track crowds and strong support from simulcast players.
With this increase, the minimum allowance race is now worth $74,000, maiden allowances are now worth an unprecedented $70,000 and the minimum purses is $21,500. Additionally, the Honeybee Stakes (G3) on March 12 has been bumped from $150,000 to $200,000 and both the Razorback Handicap (G3) and Azeri Stakes (G2), which share the card with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19, have been increased from $300,000 to $350,000.
The Rebel Stakes card, which last year featured champion Untapable in the Azeri and eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Rebel Stakes, will now be worth nearly $2 million, making it the second-richest day in Oaklawn’s history behind Arkansas Derby Day April 16.
“From day one, Oaklawn has benefitted 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. “Suddenbreakingnews capped an exciting first month of racing with his victory in the Southwest Stakes and we are really looking forward to the next two months, which traditionally features some of the best racing in the country.”
The 2016 Oaklawn meet runs through Saturday, April 16.