CLAREMORE, Okla. – The stables are set as the American Quarter Horse Association brings fall racing back to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs.
The 2021 Will Rogers Downs racing schedule features 27 AQHA, Appaloosa and Paint stakes races beginning on Sept. 11 through Nov. 13, worth a total of $612,000.
“Our mandatory hair testing requirements were implemented to provide assurance to every owner and all bettors that the track is making a significant effort to ensure horses are not competing with an unfair advantage,” said John Lies, racing secretary, announcer and oddsmaker at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. “The OQHRA and Will Rogers Downs share this same goal and are enthused about conducting a race meeting with the utmost integrity.”
The season will kick off with a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader on Sept. 11, which will include the Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity Trial that features 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 Sept. 26.
Races will post at noon every Friday, Saturday and Sunday thereafter, until the final weekend of the season.
On Oct. 3, the AQHA Juvenile Challenge Final will include a 350-yard race for 2-year-olds and guarantees $30,000 in the purse, while the AQHA Distance Challenge Final and AQHA Distaff Challenge Final offer a $25,000 purse each.
Nov. 13 will close out the season with a Friday-Saturday schedule that will include the $15,000 Speedhorse Paint and Appaloosa Futurity Championship Final, and the Don Drake Memorial, which offers a 350-yard race and guarantees a $15,000 purse.
The final weekend will also feature the Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Derby Final, the Black Gold Futurity Championship Final and the Black Gold Oaks Championship Final.
Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located 3 miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com and click on the Will Rogers Downs tab, or call (918) 283-8800.