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Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs celebrates successful meet

1 December 2016

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Cherokee Casino - Will Rogers Downs wraps up 28 days of fall racing, as the 2016 American Quarter Horse Association racing season concludes for the seventh consecutive year.

The 28-day meet featuring AQHA, Appaloosa and Paint stakes races ran from 10 September through 12 November. Each race day offered more than $100,000 in purses, with 12 races regularly running per day.

This year, $21.9 million was wagered during the fall and spring meets at the Downs, Claremore's casino and horse racing facility currently undergoing $3.5 million in extensive renovations.

"The fall meet at Will Rogers Downs was highlighted by some impressive stakes winners in mostly mild and warm weather for the season," said John Lies, racing secretary, announcer and oddsmaker at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. "We witnessed a dominating showing by our leading trainer and enjoyed an exciting race to the wire from our two leading jockeys, who finished in a tie on closing day. With respectable overall field size, we were happy with the horsemen's participation."

Agustin Silva and Mario Delgado drew for 2016 Jockey of the Meet. These co-leading riders each rode 43 winners at the meet. Delgado entered closing day two wins ahead and won the first race of the day to lead by three. Silva quickly closed the gap with three wins on the card, including two stakes races, to finish in a tie with Delgado for leading honors. Of the two, Silva did have the higher win percentage at 28 percent.

The leading trainer this year was Rick Robinson. His 25 wins, from only 57 starts at the meet, were 11 more than the next leading trainers and equaled a staggering 44 percent win rate. Robinson won two stakes races and watched his starters finish in the money 79 percent of the time.

The 2016 leading owner was Darling Farms. With eight wins, they took home one more than Denis and Julie Schoenhofer, who campaigned the Horse of the Meet.

Another Desire, who was a perfect 3 for 3 at Will Rogers Downs in 2016, earned Horse of the Meet. The 5-year-old mare is owned by the Shoenhofers and trained by Jose Gamez. She recorded the fastest 300 yard time of the meet in 15.242 with the second of her three wins. Another Desire was unbeaten by close of the meet.

Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located 3 miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit the Cherokee Casino website and click on the Will Rogers Downs tab, or call (918) 283-8800.

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