Spring Racing kicks off at Will Rogers Downs March 21

2021 Horse of the Meet, Lady Orchid, crosses the finish line with jockey Floyd Wethey, Jr. after defending her More Than Even Stakes crown. Will Rogers Downs’ spring thoroughbred meet includes a total of eight stakes races worth $430,000. 

CLAREMORE – The stables are set as the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma brings the highly anticipated 2022 spring racing season to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs March 21 through May 25. 

The 29-day season includes a total of eight stakes races worth $430,000, with six for accredited Oklahoma-breeds. Daily races will post at 1 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday thereafter (except March 23), until the final weekend of the season. Daily average purses are estimated at $140,000.

“There is reason to believe we are in for a stronger season than last spring with more interest from trainers who have not raced here previously, and the local horsemen who come back each year are raring to go,” said John Lies, racing secretary, announcer and odds maker at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. “That said, the national foal crop is down roughly 20% since 2016. We have eliminated a couple of categories in our race conditions while boosting purses at the class levels we run most often. All of this should help our average field size.”

Stakes races begin on April 11 with the running of the $55,000 guaranteed Miranda Diane Stakes. A purse of $55,000 is also guaranteed on the next day with the TRAO Classic Sprint. 

The $50,000 guaranteed purses are available on May 2 with the Wilma Mankiller Stakes and on May 3 with the Highland Ice Stakes. The Cinema Stakes on May 23 and the Will Rogers Stakes on May 24 will both feature $55,000 guaranteed purses.

Stakes wrap on May 25 with the $55,000 guaranteed Cherokee Nation Classic Cup and the $55,000 guaranteed More Than Even Stakes.

Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located 3 miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com and click on the Will Rogers Downs tab, or call 918-283-8800.