The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission has approved Prairie Meadows Casino Racetrack and Hotel’s 28th season of live horse racing at their one-mile oval track, located just outside of Des Moines. Prairie Meadows will continue to feature both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets with a few adjustments on post-times and scheduling that will benefit the overall racing program
The 67-day Thoroughbred season will open Thursday, April 27, 2017. A typical race week will feature races Thursday through Sunday. This season, there will also be several special race days. These days are scheduled for May 29 (Memorial Day), June 14, July 3, and August 9. A fireworks show will follow the Memorial Day and July 3 races. The season will end with the Iowa Classic on Saturday, August 12.
The 26-day Quarter Horse season will start Saturday, August 19 and conclude on Saturday, October 14. The Quarter Horses race Friday through Sunday with the exception of the opening and closing weekends.
Post-times have been modified for 2017 and differ from the 2016 season. The most notable changes occur on Thursdays and Fridays. In 2017, racing will begin at 6:00 PM CT on Thursdays and Fridays instead of 5:30 PM CT. Weekend racing will continue with 1:00 PM CT post-times.
In 2017, there will be several new special race days with varying post times. Triple Crown Saturdays (May 6, May 20, and June 10) will have a post-time of 4:00 PM CT. Post-times for Mondays, May 29 (Memorial Day) and July 3 will begin at 1:00 PM CT. Wednesdays, June 14 and August 9 will have a 6:00 PM CT post-time. Lastly, Saturdays, July 8 (Iowa Festival of Racing finale) and August 12 (Iowa Classic) will have a post-time of 4:00 PM CT.
These special post-times include the highly regarded Iowa Festival of Racing, which has historically attracted some of the top horses in the nation to Prairie Meadows. The festival continues as a three-day event running from July 6 through July 8, 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, July 6. The $100,000 Iowa Distaff (L) and the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) are set for Friday, July 7. The $100,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap (L) and $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) are slated to close out the Festival on Saturday, July 8.
The Iowa Classic, which will feature seven all-Iowa bred Thoroughbred stakes races worth a total of $665,000, will cap off the Thoroughbred season on Saturday, August 12.
Additional information on the upcoming 2017 racing season will be sent out to horsemen over the next couple of months. To stay up to date with the latest racing news, visit www.prairiemeadows.com.