Oaklawn, which runs Friday, Jan. 11 - Saturday, April 13, announced a record $5.7 million stakes schedule several weeks ago.
Racing Secretary Pat Pope is busy putting together the most lucrative condition book in the track's history, featuring maiden allowance races at $53,000; open allowance races as high as $56,000 and increases in key categories as high as 50% when compared to the first condition book of the 2012 season.
"We were thrilled last year when we were able to offer $40,000 for maiden allowance races," Pope said. "For that number to climb to $53,000 this year is just phenomenal."
The increases in purses can be attributed to the growing success of Instant Racing and Gaming as well as the growth in popularity of the Oaklawn racing signal. During the 2012 race meet, which benefited from a mild winter and no cancellations, there were four purse increases and by the time the meet ended, maiden allowance races, for example, had grown from $40,000 to $51,000.
The other classes of races to receive significant increases over 2012 were claiming races with a claiming price of $15,000 and above. These purses were increased a least 31 percent over last year depending on the actual claiming price.
"Oaklawn has enjoyed a banner year and we have put that money right back into purses for the horsemen who support our racing program," said Assistant General Manager of Racing David Longinotti. "We look forward to reviewing our stall applications at the end of October and to our stable area opening in Mid-November."
Longinotti and Pope will begin recruiting trips shortly with planned stops in California, Kentucky and New York for starters. Stall applications for the 2013 meet can be downloaded off the Oaklawn website at www.oaklawn.com or by calling Oaklawn's Racing Office at (501) 701-5570.