Charles Town announces stakes schedule, first half dates

by | Nov 18, 2016 | Breaking, Racing, West Virginia, WV Racing

The G3 Charles Town Oaks will take place September 23, 2017.  Covey Trace (above) won the ’16 edition. Photo by Coady Photography.

From a Charles Town Races release

The first five months of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races live calendar for 2017 have been set with 76 days of live racing to be conducted from January 11 through May 20 on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Post time for the first race is slated for 7:00 P.M. EST on these days, with the exception of Charles Town Classic day on April 22. In order to meet procedural requirements, the remainder of Charles Town’s 2017 calendar is set to be taken up at the West Virginia Racing Commission’s December meeting.

In addition to the first five months of the 2017 racing season, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town has finalized and released its 2017 stakes schedule, which will once again be headlined by the track’s marquee race and biggest day of its meet – the $1,250,000 Charles Town Classic (G2) – on the aforementioned April 22 date. The Classic is one of 23 stakes currently scheduled at Charles Town for the coming year, not including the finalized lineup for West Virginia Breeders’ Classics XXXI which is slated for release in the coming months.

For the second consecutive year after experiencing a $250,000 purse drop, the 2017 Charles Town Classic still figures to share the title of the country’s richest race outside of the Triple Crown, Breeders’ Cup and newly formed Pegasus World Cup with a quartet of races in New York – the Metropolitan Handicap, Belmont Derby, Whitney Handicap and Travers – which were all run with a base purse of $1,250,000 in 2016.

Also part of the Charles Town Classic undercard will be three unrestricted stakes run at 7 furlongs in the $100,000 Sugar Maple for fillies and mares, the $85,000 Robert Hilton Memorial for three-year-olds and $50,000 Russell Road, a race formerly known as the Wild & Wonderful. Four West Virginia-bred stakes – the Coin Collector, Confucius Say, It’s Binn Too Long and Original Gold – round out the stakes portion of the card on April 22.

For the third consecutive year, post time for the first race on the 13 race Charles Town Classic day card will be 12:45pm EST.

Charles Town’s second graded race, the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) leads the eighth Race for the Ribbon program on September 23 that bundles a quality card with a series of events designed to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure’s West Virginia Affiliate. The $50,000 Pink Ribbon and five West Virginia accredited stakes that serve as preps for the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics round out the stakes portion of the Race for the Ribbon program.

Three weeks after the Race for the Ribbon day, West Virginia Breeders’ Classics XXXI will be held on October 14 and will once again be tied into nine West Virginia accredited stakes held over the course of the year that serve as “Win & You’re In” races for their corresponding Breeders’ Classics event. Winners in each of the nine accredited stakes that are part of the Win & You’re In program will have a guaranteed spot in the gate and their entry fee waived upon starting for the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics race they’ve won their way into. The full race and purse lineup for the Breeders’ Classics will be announced at a later date.

Including the restricted stakes conducted on the Charles Town Classic and Race for the Ribbon days, but excluding the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics, 16 stakes for West Virginia-breds, totaling $800,000 in purses are currently scheduled in 2017, as well as the restricted, $50,000 Tri-State Futurity on December 23.