Altoona, IA. Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel announced the release of it’s first condition book of 2018 today. Additionally, the Iowa racetrack unveiled a starter incentive program in an attempt to boost field sizes early in the meet.
“We worked with Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) to develop the details of the Starter Bonus Incentive as part of our ongoing efforts to increase field sizes,” said Chad Keller, Thoroughbred Assistant Racing Secretary at Prairie Meadows. “Any overnight race which leaves the paddock with at least eight betting interests will have its total purse increased by $3,500.”
The $3,500 purse increase is reflected in the first 12 days of Condition Book 1. If an overnight race is carded with less than eight horses or leaves the paddock with less than eight horses, the purse will revert to the base purse amount for the meet.
“We’ve also increased overnight purses by $500 per race for the entire 2018 season,” Keller added. “And our Purse Participation Incentive, for horses finishing sixth through last place in overnight races, will be increased from $125 to $200 this season.”
Keller also noted the 2018 Iowa Festival of Racing will be a two-day event beginning Thursday, July 5 and ending Friday, July 6.
“We’ll card the three festival stakes races for the girls – The Saylorville, The Iowa Distaff, and the Grade III Iowa Oaks – on Thursday night,” Keller said. “And we’ll card the stakes races for the boys – Iowa Sprint Handicap, the Iowa Derby, and the Grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker – on Friday night.”
Prairie Meadows will offer 33 Thoroughbred stakes races worth approximately $2.1 million in 2018. Purses, including supplement money, are expected to average $225,000 a day.
Horsemen are advised that Out-of-Competition Testing (OOCT) will be conducted for the duration of the 2018 live racing season at Prairie Meadows. Thoroughbred stall application forms are due Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Application forms are available at prairiemeadows.com as well as Prairie Meadows’ Racing Office.
Prairie Meadows’ backside stable area will open to horses on Friday, March 30. Training on Prairie Meadows’ one-mile main track will begin Monday, April 2.
All horses shipping to Prairie Meadows, including ponies, must be accompanied by a valid health certificate issued within 14 days of arrival. Arriving horses must have been vaccinated for EHV-1 not less than 14 days and not more than 120 days prior to date of entry and be accompanied by a current negative Coggins test dated within 12 months. Any pony horse, other than a Thoroughbred pony, must have proof of a negative test for Theileria Equi (Piroplasmosis) dated within the last 365 days.
Condition Book 1, stall application forms, 2018 Thoroughbred Live Racing Schedule, and other racing-related documents can be found at prairiemeadows.com/racing/horsemans-info/thoroughbred-meet.