BENSALEM, Pa., June 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Parx Racing® and the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA) announce the creation of a new, annual $20 Million Parx Racing® Fall Festival that will commence on Saturday, August 29, 2015, and continue through October 20, 2015. By doubling purse levels throughout the two month festival, Parx and the PTHA have created a signature racing meet that will attract top horse racing talent in the industry, increase the field size of the races, enhance betting interest, and draw new fans to the legendary racetrack.
Over the past four years, Parx Racing® and the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA) have worked to build a Fall Festival around one of the track's signature racing days – the $1 MillionPennsylvania Derby (GII) and Cotillion Stakes (GI) - which last year featured Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome, along with the eventual Breeders' Cup Classic champion Bayern. In addition, last year's Cotillion Stakes was led by Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Untapable. This exciting new initiative will build on that past success by doubling purses for each of the 32 live race days during the new Fall Festival.
"Parx is thrilled to work with the PTHA on this revitalizing plan to enhance our overall live racing product for our owners and trainers as well as racing fans," said Joe Wilson, COO Parx Racing®. "This significant agreement is a reflection of the ongoing commitment of Parx Racing® and the PTHA to offer the highest caliber racing program for our devoted fans. We especially look forward to our new $20 Million Parx Racing® Fall Festival and the great anticipation that will be generated each year leading up to it."
To help fund the increased purse levels during the Fall Festival, Parx and the PTHA have agreed to reduce the annual number of live racing days to 153. This reduction in live race days will consist of two separate breaks in winter and summer that will include the Christmas holidays through mid-February and three weeks in August beginning in 2016. The track will remain open for training year-round, including the days closed for live racing.
Also as part of the new agreement, Parx Racing® will invest an additional $4.4 Million in racetrack infrastructure and property improvements to enhance the overall racing experience for everyone associated with the live racing events. Improvements will include installation of a new safety rail, beautification of the track's paddock and Winner's Circle, and a variety of enhancements to the backside including paving and planting of trees between barns.
"The PTHA is excited by the changes to our live racing schedule and the creation of a signature racing meet during the fall at Parx that will attract some of the top national and regional horses and talent," said Salvatore M. DeBunda, President of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. "Doubling purses will improve the competitiveness and caliber of our racing product, make the races more exciting, and increase fan and bettor interest."
Parx Casino®, largest and most impressive gaming complex in Pennsylvania, and Parx Racing®, legendary thoroughbred racetrack, are owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. Conveniently located 20 minutes north of center city Philadelphia, I-95 exit 37 or PA Turnpike exit 351 (westbound), exit 352 (eastbound) onto Street Road in Bensalem, Parx features 164,000 square feet of gaming; 3,300 slot machines; 110 live table games; 80 poker tables; live racing & simulcast action; Parx Grill, an upscale signature restaurant; Foodies food court; Chickie's & Pete's crab house and sports bar; Earl of Sandwich®; 360 bar and live music venue; Jax sports bar; Finish Line bar and complimentary parking for over 5,000 cars. For more information on Parx visit www.parxcasino.com and www.parxracing.com.
About the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen Association
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen Association (PTHA) is a statewide organization representing owners and trainers at Parx Racetrack and Casino Racetrack in Bensalem, Pa. The PTHA works hard to protect and provide for the horsemen through the guarantee of live racing, increased purses, and health care for its families. Through the efforts of the PTHA and the track management, thoroughbred racing in the state of Pennsylvania has undergone many positive changes and Parx has been recognized throughout the industry as the starting point for stricter medication rules and for its model retirement program for Thoroughbred horses. For more information, visit http://patha.org/.