The first graded stakes in the history of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races highlights a 2011 stakes schedule worth more than $3 million at the West Virginia track.
The $3 million figure doesn’t include the West Virginia Breeders Classics program, which usually offers between $1 million and $2 million in purses in October. That nine-race program, set for Oct. 15, will be unveiled at a later date.
Charles Town again will offer three Saturday “big event” programs on which multiple stakes will be clustered: Charles Town Classic day April 16; the Charles Town Sprint Festival June 18; and the Charles Town Race for the Ribbon Sept. 17. The package features a few stakes that offer the largest purse in the country for the respective division and distance.
The $1 million Classic, inaugurated in 2009, earned grade III status for 2011. The first two editions of the 1 1/8-mile event for 4-year-olds and up were won by locally-based Researcher, and the races subsequently produced multiple graded stakes winners.