Live Thoroughbred Racing Returns to Will Rogers Downs March 25th

CLAREMORE, Okla. – The trainers, jockeys and equine athletes alike are arriving once again for the 28-day thoroughbred meet returning to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs on March 25. Track representatives are optimistic about a strong handle and a full field in its 13th year of operation, abandoning the traditional calendar for a later start date, allowing for more simulcast coverage across the country.

Races begin at 1:15 p.m. each day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The schedule drops the Wednesday race day on May 1, replacing it with a Saturday card to finish the meet on May 25 and include the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

“We expect to increase both field size and handle this spring,” said John Lies, racing secretary and track announcer for Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. “A later start date should work in our favor, and we anticipate more trainers on the grounds this year. We also greatly value our growing relationship with TVG and strive to enhance our presence, avoiding post-time conflicts.”

The series offers nearly $500,000 in total for the Oklahoma-Bred Program, and more than $3.7 million in estimated total purses. The stakes races run a six-week period within the meet, offering eight races and guaranteeing no less than $50,000 per race.

Stakes races open on April 1 with the Wilma Mankiller Stakes for fillies and mares 3 years old and up, going six furlongs for a guaranteed $50,000 purse. The Cinema Stakes on April 22 and Will Rogers Stakes the following day, April 23, are both no longer handicaps and have reduced the distance to 1 mile. The races are now stakes races at equal weights and guarantee $55,000 each.

The More Than Even Stakes for mares and fillies on May 20 and Cherokee Nation Classic Cup on May 21 for colts and geldings have been lengthened to a mile and 1/16th and close out the thoroughbred stakes races for 2019.

For the spring 2018 Will Rogers Downs meet, more than $15 million was wagered on live racing.

Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located 3 miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit www.cherokeestarrewards.com or call 918-283-8800.

Latest articles

What’s Coming to Ne-Mar…Officially? (We actually know this time)

Ne-Mar Center in Claremore is excited to announce Burkes Outlet, a discount apparel and home goods retailer, will be opening an 18,240 square foot...

What’s Coming to Claremore?

It's not Atwoods. It's not Aldi. Is it an IKEA? A Jack-in-the-Box? Probably not. Honestly, we're pretty sure it's a cell phone store. But it's NOT Office Everything...

CIEDA Names New Executive Director

The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) Board of Trustees named Meggie Froman-Knight as the organization’s new executive director at its regular monthly...

Fifty Years Ago this Week….Congrats, Meltons!

  Since 1946, Melton Sales has operated at the corner of 4th and Missouri in the heart of downtown Claremore. Originally called George Melton & Sons,...

Similar articles