By TIM COOK
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Reversing an earlier decision last month, the West Virginia Racing Commission voted Monday to approve a $1.2 million purse for this spring’s Charles Town Classic at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town.
The state’s three-member racing commission’s latest decision allows the April 21 marque race to move forward as it has for the past nine years. Rather than approve the huge purse for the race, the commission last month approved a $300,000 purse.
Officials with Penn National Gaming of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, which operates the Charles Town casino and racetrack, said setting a large purse for the Charles Town Classic has been a successful marketing strategy. The large purse was critical in drawing a national media spotlight and big-name horses and jockeys to West Virginia and the Charles Town racetrack.
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