Coming off some of the best performances in Colorado racing history last year, Arapahoe Park will begin its 2013 season on May 25. The Aurora racetrack will conduct 39 days of live horse racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, along with Memorial Day Monday. First post time for the daily card featuring Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Arabian races will be at 1 p.m.
The track's marquee Thoroughbred stakes will be the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at 6 furlongs for 2‑year-olds on August 18. Last year's Gold Rush Futurity was won by Colorado-bred Get Happy Mister by 9 1/4 lengths. As a 3-year-old this year, the Tangarae Farms' Get Happy Mister has shined outside Colorado as he won the 1-mile, $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas on April 13.
In addition to the big performances on the racetrack, Arapahoe Park's posting an increase in wagering handle for the third year in a row translated into extra prize money available for horsemen. Purses on all overnight races were increased during the final month of last season, and the closing weekend of the meet featured an additional three races each day.
“The quality of our on-track product and the success we had on the business side last year have us all excited about the 2013 meet,” Arapahoe Park plant manager Bill Powers said. “We really believe that Colorado racing has nowhere to go but up.”
The top Quarter Horse stakes of the season will be the $150,000, Grade 3 Mile High Futurity at 400 yards for 2-year-olds on August 18 and the $75,000 Mile High Derby at 400 yards for 3-year-olds on August 17. Like Get Happy Mister, a Quarter Horse that raced at Arapahoe Park last year also made a splash on the national scene when Ultimate Wave won the 400-yard, $200,000 Grade 1 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows in Iowa on October 27. Owned by Junior's Quarter Horses, Ultimate Wave had qualified for that race on Quarter Horse racing's championship evening by winning the 400‑yard, $42,100 Adequan Arapahoe Derby Challenge. This year's renewal will be held on June 8 with trials run on opening day, May 25.
The feature races of the meet for Arabians will be the 1 1/8-mile, $25,000 Grade 3 Soaring Eagle Ranch Distaff for fillies and mares aged 3-years-old and up on August 17 and the 1 1/4-mile, $25,000 Grade 3 Crow Valley Ranch Classic for 3-year-olds and up on August 18.
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