Will Rogers Downs opens fall racing schedule Sept. 12

08/31/2020 02:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
American Quarter Horse Association racing returns to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs on Sept. 12 for the track’s fall racing schedule. COURTESY
CLAREMORE – Quarter horse racing returns to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs in September. 

Track executives have announced that WRD’s fall racing schedule, featuring 28 American Quarter Horse Association, appaloosa and paint stakes races, runs from Sept. 12 through Nov. 14. Overnight purses will equal $2.4 million for quarter horses and $288,000 for paints and appaloosas, officials said.

Racing will be open to the public under Cherokee Nation Entertainment’s Responsible Hospitality plan, featuring enhanced cleaning and safety protocols based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Races post at noon every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will feature 11-12 races each day.  

A total of 16 stakes races worth more than $620,000 are included in the program. 

Opening weekend features the Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity and Derby trials and the four AQHA Challenge trials, running from 350 yards to 870 yards. The 10 fastest qualifiers from each race will then compete in the futurity finals mid-meet. 

The $25,000 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Derby Finals and the $75,000 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity Restricted Grade II are set to run Sept. 27, while the AQHA Challenge finals will commence Oct. 4. 

On Nov. 14, 2-year-olds will travel 400 yards for the $20,000 Speedhorse Paint and Appaloosa Futurity Championship Finals. The $15,000 Don Drake Memorial Finals run the same day, offers a 350-yard race for 3-year-olds and guarantees a $15,000 purse. 

Fall racing at WRD will conclude with a change in the calendar. The Black Gold 440 Championship Futurity Finals Grade III on Nov. 14 will finale with a race for 2-year-old colts and geldings, as well as a separate race for 2-year-old fillies. Each futurity is worth $106,625 over a distance of 400 yards. 

Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located three miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com and click on the WRD tab or call 918-283-8800.


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