Prairie Meadows Releases First 2019 Thoroughbred Condition Book, Includes Starters Bonus Incentive, Purse Participation, and Overall Purse Increases

Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel announces the release of Condition Book 1, which covers the first 14 racing days of the 2019 Thoroughbred season at the Altoona, Iowa racetrack. Prairie Meadows live season kicks off on May 3. Book 1 is available at,, and Prairie Meadows’ Racing Office.

Book 1 features a variety of incentives for horsemen that choose to make Iowa their summertime racing destination. Incentives include the Starters Bonus which awards $250 to every starter in an overnight race during the bonus period. The bonus period runs from May 3 – May 27. There is a two-race cap for the Starter Bonus, regardless of ownership during either start. The Purse Participation incentive increased from $200 to $250 this year. This incentive, which is available throughout the 2019 Thoroughbred season, is awarded to horses that finish sixth through last place in an overnight race.

“When you factor in both incentives, an overnight starter in Book 1 is guaranteed a minimum of $500. This should appeal to horsemen that have horses fit and ready to run beginning May 3,” stated Assistant Racing Secretary Chad Keller. “These incentives are a great benefit to horsemen as they can help cover some of the costs they incur – from shipping to setting up their stables with bedding and supplies to race day expenses.”

In the 2019 Thoroughbred season, horsemen will see a $500 across-the-board increase on overnight race purses.

“There’s a lot of positive momentum here in Iowa as we head into 2019 with attractive incentives, purses, race dates, and facilities,” said Keller.

The 67-day Thoroughbred season runs May 3 – September 10. Opening weekend will only include Friday and Saturday race days. The following weekend will see Friday – Sunday race days while race days from May 16 – August 10 will occur Thursday – Sunday. Beginning on August 19, the Thoroughbreds will race on Mondays and Tuesdays for four weeks. Please refer to the live racing calendar on for complete schedule details.

The 2019 live racing season includes two signature events, the Festival of Racing and the Iowa Classic. The Festival of Racing takes place on July 5 and July 6. This two-day event features some of the nation’s premier horses, jockeys, and trainers.

It includes six festival stakes and two Iowa-bred undercard stakes, worth nearly $1.2 million in total purses. The Iowa Classic on September 2 celebrates the best in Iowa foaled Thoroughbreds. The all Iowa-bred race card includes seven stakes races worth approximately $675,000 in total purses.

Entertainment events scheduled throughout the racing season include the three Triple Crown race days with a 4 p.m. post; Memorial Day racing with a 1 p.m. post; Weiner Dog Races on June 16 with a 1 p.m. post; a fireworks display on July 3 with a 4 p.m. post; Independence Day racing on July 4 with a 4 p.m. post; and the ever-popular Camel, Zebra, and Ostrich races on July 14 with a 1 p.m. post.

In 2019, Prairie Meadows is offering 33 Thoroughbred stakes races worth approximately $2.9 million. Thoroughbred purses, including Iowa-bred supplement money, are projected to average $240,000 a day.

Thoroughbred Stall Application forms are available at and Prairie Meadows’ Racing Office. Applications are due on March 25. Prairie Meadows’ backside stable area opens to horses on March 31. Training is scheduled to begin on the Training Track on April 2. Main Track training will start on April 7, if the weather permits.

All horses, including ponies, shipped to Prairie Meadows must have a valid health certificate issued within 10 days of arrival. Arriving horses must be vaccinated for EHV-1. Vaccinations must take place 14 to 120 days prior to date of entry. Horses also need a current negative Coggins test dated within the last 12 months. Any pony horse, other than a Thoroughbred pony, must have proof of a negative test for Theileria Equi (Piroplasmosis) dated within the last 365 days.

Horsemen are advised that Out-of-Competition Testing (OOCT) will be conducted for the duration of the 2019 live racing season at Prairie Meadows.

(from Prairie Meadows news release)