Oaklawn increases purses, cites better attendance

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) -- Oaklawn is increasing purses by a total of $800,000 for the remainder of the racing season, a bump that the track says is possible because of increased attendance.

The thoroughbred track in Hot Springs, Ark., said Thursday purses will rise by $100,000 per week.

Oaklawn officials say more than 29,000 people attended Monday's split running of the Southwest Stakes. The weather has been better than last season, when the track lost eight days due to poor conditions.

The track also said its casino-style gambling center is setting records and that some of the profits are being shifted to purses. The purse increase drives the season purse distribution to almost $18 million for the 56-day meet.

The season concludes April 14 with the $1 million Arkansas Derby.