By T. D. Thornton
Purse account revenues from gaming have improved “dramatically” at both the Penn National and Presque Isle Downs racinos in the past six weeks, enabling Penn National to add an extra weekday of racing starting June 8 and Presque Isle to potentially tack on race dates at the end of the meet that begins July 5.
The news came in the form of a one-page memo to members issued Friday by Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association executive director Todd Mostoller.
“For the first time since the pandemic started, we have some clarity on our ability to fund purses at the current level for the remainder of the year,” Mostoller wrote May 21 about Penn National. “Barring another outbreak, we are very confident the purse account can fund three-day-per-week racing for the remainder of 2021.”
Tuesdays will join Wednesdays and Fridays in Penn National's three-day weekly (eight races nightly) schedule.
At Presque Isle, Mostoller wrote that “should this trend continue, we will look to add race days to the end of the meet above and beyond the currently scheduled 52-day meet.”
Mostoller added that the signing of a one-year extension to the current live racing agreement with Presque Isle is “imminent” and that “the parties have agreed in principle and the language is currently being drafted.”
The stable area at Presque Isle opens June 14.