WVRC approves revised stakes schedules, ADW rules

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: June 19, 2020

The West Virginia Racing Commission June 19 approved amended stakes schedules for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.

At Charles Town, the Grade II Charles Town Classic, normally run in April for a purse of $1 million, will be run Aug. 28 with a $600,000 purse. It will be joined by the Grade III Charles Town Oaks, now at $200,000, and three other stakes on a Friday program that will begin at 5 p.m.

Charles Town Director of Racing Charlie McIntosh said management opted to hold the $1.15 million worth of stakes on a Friday night rather than a Saturday afternoon because of competition for jockeys with tracks such as Saratoga Race Course and Del Mar open in late August.

The Oaks program, normally run in late September, will be made up of West Virginia-bred stakes that serve as preps for the West Virginia Breeders Classics in October.

Mountaineer will hold the Grade III West Virginia Derby and Grade III West Virginia Governor’s Cup as scheduled Saturday, Aug. 1, with first post time of 2 p.m. The purses remain at $500,000 and $200,000 respectively, but five other stakes normally run that afternoon will not be in order to conserve purse money.

Charles Town and Mountaineer suspended live racing and casino gambling in mid-March. Racing resumed in mid- to late May, and the casinos reopened at reduced capacity in early June.

Per an executive order from Gov. Jim Justice, both tracks will be permitted to allow spectators and offer their regular simulcast operations effective June 22.

In other business, the WVRC formally adopted rules that will govern advance deposit wagering, which was legalized by the state legislation earlier this year. The legislation takes effect July 1, and under an emergency designation, ADW providers can begin applying for licenses through the WVRC.