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Presque Isle meet begins Tuesday

Presque Isle Downs near Erie, Pa., a racino with more than 2,000 slot machines and 48 table games, will begin a 100-day meet Tuesday that runs through Oct. 1.

The biggest change to the racing schedule is that the track’s signature event, the Presque Isle Masters, has been upgraded to a Grade 2 from a Grade 3. The $400,000 Masters, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, will be run over the Tapeta surface on Sept, 10.

Business has been good at the casino. Purses will be up approximately 10 percent this meet and average just under $188,000 a card. Purses at Presque Isle are fueled by slot machine revenue, but not by the table games.

Another noticeable change for the track’s fourth season is that Saturday post time has been moved up 2 1/2 hours to 3 p.m. Eastern, The main reason for the change is to give people the opportunity to use the new picnic area, according to Debbie Howells, director of racing at Presque Isle Downs.

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