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American quarter horses return to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs

21 August 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The stables are filling up once again with the stocky build of some of the top American quarter horse competitors as fall racing returns to Cherokee Casino - Will Rogers Downs. The horses are set to contend for the lead position in high-paying races to be held on the grounds. Racing begins 9 September.

The 2017 Will Rogers Downs racing schedule features 28 AQHA, Appaloosa and Paint stakes races through 12 November.

Races post at noon every Sunday, Friday and Saturday, with each day featuring 12 races.

"Will Rogers Downs put on an excellent meet for quarter horses, paints and appaloosas last year, and we only hope to grow that in 2017," said John Lies, racing secretary, announcer and oddsmaker at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs.

A total of 17 stakes races worth more than $650,000 are included in the program, a significant increase from the 2016 quarter horse racing season in added Oklahoma-bred purse money for all overnight races.

"Rick Robinson was a standout in the trainers division last fall and is back in full force with a large stable," Lies said. "Other top barns, such as Clint Crawford and Dee Keener, will help make this another competitive season, one we hope to continue developing into one of the top quarter horses and mixed race meets in the country."

The Black Gold 350 Championship Futurity Trials on opening day features the top two-year-old quarter horses in the country going 350 yards. The 10 fastest qualifiers will then compete in the futurity finals on 24 September, guaranteeing an added $133,500.

The following day the third annual Miss Ellen Stakes offers a 350-yard race for fillies and mares three years old and up and guarantees $18,000 in the purse. Then 4 November will showcase the Jerry Jaggars Memorial for three year olds and up, competing at 350 yards for the $35,000 prize.

"The Black Gold nominations are deeper than last year and set us up for a strong night of trials right from the start," said Lies. "We also shifted the dates of a couple stakes races to help create our best overall racing program."

On the final day of racing on 11 November, racing fans can enjoy the $133,500 Black Gold 440 Championship Futurity Finals along with the Oklahoma Horsemen's Association Mystery Derby Finals, worth $25,000, and the $75,000 Oklahoma Horsemen's Association Mystery Futurity Restricted Grade III.

Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located three miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit the website and click on the Will Rogers Downs tab, or call (918) 283-8800.

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