Parx raises value of 10 stakes to $100,000 from $75,000

Parx Racing has scheduled 31 stakes worth a cumulative $6 million for its 2016 season. The schedule is similar to last year, but the bottom stakes purse has been raised from $75,000 to $100,000, and the Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby will follow the Travers at Saratoga by four weeks rather than three weeks, as it did in 2015.

When Parx released its 2015 stakes schedule a year ago, it consisted of 30 stakes worth $5.6 million. Sam Elliott, the track’s director of racing, later added five $150,000 stakes during the track’s inaugural Fall Festival, bringing the total value of last year’s schedule to $6.35 million.

One of the added stakes, the Pennsylvania Derby Champion – Frosted, is part of this year’s schedule. The race, whose name has been tweaked slightly this year, was called the Bayern in 2015. It is named in honor of the previous season’s Pennsylvania Derby winner.

“I wouldn’t rule out making further additions to the stakes schedule once we finalize our plans for this year’s festival,” Elliott said. “We should have an announcement on the festival in a few weeks.”

Ten stakes have had their purses boosted from $75,000 to $100,000.

“Given the current purse structure on the East Coast, I just didn’t think $75,000 had enough of an impact,” Elliott said.

The Pennsylvania Derby; the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion; the Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob; and two other supporting stakes will be run Sept. 24. In 2015, they were run Sept. 19, three weeks after the Travers. The closer spacing may have cost the Pennsylvania Derby one or more important horses.

“We couldn’t move the race back a week because Pope Francis was in Philadelphia on the 26th and the 27th,” Elliott said. “There was too much going on in the area.”

The Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, the local prep for the Pennsylvania Derby, was moved to Aug. 29 last year, three weeks before the Pennsylvania Derby and the same day as the Travers. This year, it will return to its usual spot on Labor Day, Sept. 5. That day’s card also will include the Grade 3, $300,000 Turf Monster; the Grade 3, $200,000 Greenwood Cup; and the $200,000 Turf Amazon.

The Saturday of Labor Day weekend will be Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races, when five $100,000 stakes for statebreds will be run.

There are two other graded stakes on the Parx calendar, the Grade 3, $200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial on July 4 and the Grade 3, $200,000 Parx Dash on July 9.

The first stakes of the year will be held on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7, when a trio of $100,000 stakes will be held: the My Juliet, the Parx Derby, and the Parx Oaks.

2016 Parx Racing stakes schedule

Sat., May 7 My Juliet Stakes 3YO & UP F&M 6F $100,000
Sat., May 7 Parx Derby 3YO Open 1M 70YDS $100,000
Sat., May 7 Parx Oaks 3YO Fillies 1M 70YDS $100,000
Sat., May 14 Foxy J G 3YO & UP F&M* 7F $100,000
Sat., May 14 Lyman Stakes 3YO & UP Open* 7F $100,000
Sat., June 4 Jostle Stakes 3YO Fillies 6 1/2F $100,000
Sat., June 18 Donald LeVine Memorial 3YO & UP Open 7F $100,000
Sat., June 25 Turning for Home Stakes 3YO & UP Open 1M 70YDS $100,000
Mon., July 4 Dr. James Penny Memorial (G3) 3YO & UP F&M 1 1/16M (T) $200,000
Sat., July 9 Parx Dash (G3) 3YO & UP Open 5F (T) $200,000
Sat., July 23 Crowd Pleaser Stakes 3YO Open* 1 1/16M (T) $100,000
Sat., July 23 Power By Far Stakes 3YO & UP F&M* 5F (T) $100,000
Sat., Sept. 3 Marshall Jenney Stakes 3YO & UP Open* 5F (T) $100,000
Sat., Sept. 3 Mrs. Penney Stakes 3YO & UP F&M* 1 1/16M (T) $100,000
Sat., Sept. 3 Roanoke Stakes 3YO & UP Open* 1 1/16M $100,000
Sat., Sept. 3 Banjo Picker Stakes 3YO & UP Open* 6F $100,000
Sat., Sept. 3 Dr. Teresa Garofol Memorial 3YO Fillies* 7F $100,000
Mon., Sept. 5 Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) 3YO Open 1M 70YDS $300,000
Mon., Sept. 5 Greenwood Cup (G3) 3YO & UP Open 1 1/2M $200,000
Mon., Sept. 5 Turf Monster (G3) 3YO & UP Open 5F (T) $300,000
Mon., Sept. 5 Turf Amazon 3YO & UP F&M 5F (T) $200,000
Sat., Sept. 10 PTHA President’s Cup 3YO & UP Open 1 1/8M (T) $200,000
Sat., Sept. 24 Cotillion Stakes (G1) 3YO Fillies 1 1/16M $1 million
Sat., Sept. 24 Pennsylvania Derby (G2) 3YO Open 1 1/8M $1 million
Sat., Sept. 24 Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) 3YO Open 6F $300,000
Sat., Sept. 24 Aplhabet Soup Stakes 3YO & UP Open* 1 1/16M (T) $100,000
Sat., Sept. 24 PA Derby Champion Stakes 3YO & UP Open 1 1/16M $150,000
Sat., Oct. 8 Plum Pretty Stakes 3YO & UP F&M* 1 1/16M $100,000
Sat., Nov. 12 Christopher Elser Memorial 2YO Open** 6 1/2F $75,000
Sat., Nov. 12 Done Freyer Stakes 2YO Fillies** 6 1/2F $75,000
Sat., Dec. 3 Pennsylvania Nursery 2YO Open* 7F $100,000


**South Carolina residency

Source: Racing Daily Form