Press ReleaseFebruary 5, 2014
Prairie Meadows' 2014 season conclude with the Challenge Championships on October 18.
Prairie Meadows' American Quarter Horse meet will open on August 16 for a 27-day meet that closes October 18. Purses at the Altoona, Iowa, racetrack will average approximately $150,000 per race day.
The Quarter Horses will race on Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 1:00 p.m.
Maiden special weight purses will be $10,500 for open contenders and $14,574 for statebred contenders. The top-level, open allowance purses will be $15,000, and the Iowa-bred allowance purses will be $20,820.
Prairie Meadows will host 31 Quarter Horse stakes with an estimated value of more than $2.4 million. The Bank of America Regional Challenge Championships on September 13 will be worth more than $200,000 in purses plus added moneys, highlighted by the Grade 2 Bank of America Prairie Meadows Challenge Championship.
Prairie Meadows has great hopes again this year for its top2- and 3-year-old races, the Valley Junction Futurity and the Altoona Derby. The Valley Junction Futurity, which paid an all-time high purse of $282,250 in 2013, will be held this year on October 17 and will be worth an estimated $235,000. The Altoona Derby, which also paid an all-time high purse of $146,800 in 2013, will be worth an estimated $110,000 this year and will be held on October 18.
Four Iowa-bred championships worth $370,000, plus added purse money, will be held on closing weekend, October 17-18. The signature event for statebreds is the Jim Bader Memorial Futurity worth an estimated $150,000.
Also on closing weekend, October 17-18, the Bank of America Challenge Championships, which Prairie Meadows has been selected to host for the second time in the past three years, will feature a dozen stakes races worth more than $1.1 million. Six of the 12 stakes will be national Challenge Championship races. The Challenge Championship’s signature event is the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) on October 18 worth $350,000.
Prairie Meadows has hired Pat Pope to serve as Thoroughbred Racing Secretary. A graduate of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, Pope is a fixture in the industry with more than 30 years’ experience. The Sioux City, Iowa, native was also the racing secretary at Prairie Meadows from 1997-2002. In addition, he has been racing secretary at Oaklawn Park, Louisiana Downs and Delaware Park.
“Pat is well-known throughout the industry,” said Heldt. “We feel his ability to attract quality stables is vital to striking a balance with the open program and the Iowa program. We look forward to having him back with us.”
Chad Keller, who has been with Prairie Meadows since 2000, will be the racing secretary for the 27-day Quarter Horse meet (August 16-October 18). In addition, he will assist Pat Pope during the Thoroughbred meet.
“Chad did an excellent job for us managing both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets in 2013,” Heldt said. “But, that’s a tall order. Having both Pat and Chad in the office to manage these programs is a plus-plus. We’re looking forward to a great year and excellent racing opportunities.”
“We always look forward to each new year to showcase some of the finest racing in the midwest,” said Heldt. “We are putting much thought again this year into the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets, and we are excited to see how things will evolve.”
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.
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