With opening day of the 2016 Thoroughbred season less than three months away, Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino has set the calendar and schedule for the 27th season of live horse racing at this Altoona, IA facility.
The 67-day Thoroughbred season will open on Thursday, April 28 and end with Iowa Classic Day on Saturday, August 13.
The 26-day Quarter Horse meet will start on Saturday, August 20 and conclude with Championship Day on Saturday, October 15.
Fans and horsemen alike will notice several changes in both the calendar and the day-to-day schedule, including new post times on weekdays and weekends.
On Thursdays and Fridays, racing will begin at 5:30 PM CT. On the weekends, Saturday and Sunday racing will begin at 1:00 PM CT.
The popular Iowa Festival of Racing, which has historically attracted some of the top horses in the nation to Prairie Meadows, will become a three-day event covering Thursday, June 30, Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, with two stakes races on each of the three days.
The $100,000 Saylorville (L) and the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) are scheduled for Thursday, June 30, the $100,000 Iowa Distaff (L) and the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) are set for Friday, July 1, and the $100,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap (L) and $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) are slated for Saturday, July 2.
Thoroughbred racing will be held typically on a Thursday through Sunday schedule. The four exceptions to the regular schedule are afternoon cards on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, and Independence Day, Monday, July 4, and also Wednesday evening programs on June 15 and August 10.
Quarter Horse racing will be offered typically on a Friday through Sunday schedule. The exceptions are opening weekend with racing on Saturday and Sunday and then there will be a Thursday evening card on October 13.
The complete 2016 racing calendar, including regular and special post times, can be found online at www.prairiemeadows.com/racing.