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Fall quarter-horse racing to return to Cherokee Casino

26 August 2016

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Fall racing returns to Cherokee Casino - Will Rogers Downs on Saturday, Sept. 10. With the races comes the early arrival of some of the top American Quarter Horse competitors contending for the lead position in high-paying races to be held on the grounds.

The 2016 Will Rogers Downs racing schedule features 28 AQHA, Appaloosa and Paint stakes races through Nov. 12.

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

"The barns are at full capacity following a strong showing of applications," said John Lies, racing secretary, announcer and oddsmaker at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. "Our meet starts at full speed with the trails for the Black Gold 350 Futurity on opening day. The horsemen are ready to go."

The Black Gold 350 Championship Futurity Trials, featured the top 2-year-old quarter horses in the country going 350 yards. The 10 fastest qualifiers will then compete in the futurity finals on Sunday, Sept. 25, guaranteeing an added $303,000.

Race fans visiting on Sept. 11 will be a part of the inaugural new stakes offering of the $18,000 added Miss Ellen Stakes for fillies and mares 3 years old and up.

"The 440-yard action of the Black Gold division comes towards the end of our season," said Lies, "with an average of two races per day scheduled for Paints and Appaloosas, including numerous stakes events for those breeds."

The final day of racing showcases the $303,000 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.

Craig Braddick, known for "A Day At The Races" on Altitude TV as well as his horse racing radio show: "Horseplay" on Castle Rock Radio, is scheduled to serve as guest announcer the first and last two nights of the season.

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

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