HOT SPRINGS, AR (News release) - The Oaklawn Jockey Club has announced it is projecting a record purse distribution of $23.5 million for its 2015 racing season, starting January 9. This will mark the 7th consecutive year of increased purses.
Oaklawn will begin the meet with Maiden Special Weight races carrying purses of $60,000, which is $5,000 per race higher than the start of last season. Open Allowance races will have purses up to $65,000. And the minimum purse will be $18,000.
Since 2008, Oaklawn’s purses have increased by 33 percent. According to Oaklawn’s Director of Racing David Longinotti, the spike in purse distribution is the result of a strong racing product and the success of Instant Racing and other electronic gaming.
According to Longinotti, an additional factor behind the latest purse increases was the successful launch this year of Oaklawn’s own advanced deposit wagering (ADW) service, Oaklawn Anywhere. Although ADW’s have been available in Arkansas for years, Oaklawn Anywhere is the first service to be regulated by the Arkansas Racing Commission and taxed by the state of Arkansas.
“In this day and age, it’s always gratifying to be able to raise purses, and for us to be able to do so year-after-year is a reflection of Oaklawn’s commitment to bringing the highest quality racing to Arkansas,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti.
Oaklawn’s also is nearing the completion of an expansion to its gaming area. Begun only last April, the expansion will increase gaming by 50 percent and should be completely finished in time for the 2015 season. Longinotti expects purses to increase further once the project is complete.
Oaklawn, which had previously announced a record $6.7 million stakes schedule in 2015, opens Friday, Jan. 9 and the season runs through Saturday, April 11. Horsemen seeking stall applications can visit oaklawn.com or call the Oaklawn racing office at 1-800-OAKLAWN or (501) 701-5570.