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West Virginia’s Charles Town Classic in jeopardy


The Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Rejecting a $1.2 million purse for a premier racing event at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, the West Virginia Racing Commission voted Tuesday to require the casino and racetrack’s owner to either lower the purse or pony up money themselves.

The decision by the three-member Racing Commission rocked the state’s thoroughbred racing industry by upending a marketing strategy used by the Charles Town racetrack to draw big-name horses and trainers and nationwide media coverage to the one-day Charles Town Classic every spring for the past nine years.

Racing Commissioner Ken Lowe Jr., a Shepherdstown real estate agent and a longtime racing official in the state, spearheaded the change in purse winnings as a way to financially bolster the thoroughbred horse racing and breeding industry in Jefferson County and West Virginia.

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