By Jonathan Horowitz – May 18, 2015, Aurora CO

Horse racing in Colorado is in the midst of a renaissance.  With Colorado’s live horse racing season in 2015 scheduled to begin on May 22, Arapahoe Park is launching the theme of “Where Horses Come First” to reflect the growth of the Aurora, Colorado track.  There will be more coverage of Arapahoe Park’s races, improvements to the fan experience at the track, innovative programs to promote the welfare of horses, and richer races than ever before.

Arapahoe Park will host 39 days of live Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Arabian racing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through August 16.  There will also be racing on Memorial Day, May 25, and Thursdays, June 25 and July 30.  Post time for the first race each day will be at 1 p.m.  No racing will take place from May 29 to May 31 to accommodate the Rocky Mountain Air Show at the Aurora Reservoir.

In 2015, Arapahoe will broadcast a new weekly feature television show about the behind-the-scenes of horse racing and a replay show on the Denver-based network Altitude Sports & Entertainment.  Hosted by announcer Jonathan Horowitz, “Gates Open at Arapahoe Park” will air on Thursdays during the season at 6:30 p.m. starting May 21 and rebroadcast on Fridays at 10 a.m.  The feature show will focus on stories and profiles of horses and horsemen.  The replay show, “Today at Arapahoe Park,” will air at 10 p.m. after each day’s races and rebroadcast the following morning at 10 a.m.

The track has created The 9th Furlong cabana area that can accommodate 200 people adjacent to the finish line.  There will also be a tiki bar at track level as part of new ways for spectators to watch the races.  Groups can request tours of the stable area and announcer’s booth as part of the track’s effort to present the behind-the-scenes of horse racing.

“Our new TV shows and areas at the racetrack will be dynamic ways to follow the horse races,” said Arapahoe Park General Manager Bruce Seymore.  “We’re excited about the buzz heading into the season at Arapahoe Park.”

With the goal of fostering the welfare of its equine athletes, Arapahoe Park has partnered with organizations that find new homes for retired racehorses.  Arapahoe Park sponsored the Colorado’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred contest presented by Retired Racehorse Project in March that showcased the new careers of former racehorses as show and sport horses.  During the season, Arapahoe Park will facilitate CANTER Colorado’s work coordinating with trainers whose horses are reaching the end of racing and transitioning into new careers.  The track will donate $10,000 to CANTER Colorado in support of their beneficial work.

Arapahoe Park will pioneer a new program in 2015 that ties purses to field sizes.  The track will also bring back the Race-Day Medication-Free Incentive program it created in 2014 that rewards trainers who win at Arapahoe Park with a horse void of any race-day medication

Arapahoe Park will feature two $100,000 Thoroughbred races—the Arapahoe Park Classic and the Gold Rush Futurity—on the same day for the first time in the racetrack’s history as part of a stakes schedule comprised of 38 races worth a total of $1,655,000.  The highlights of the Quarter Horse stakes schedule will be the $160,000 Mile High Futurity and the $100,000 Mile High Derby.  Arabians will compete in four graded stakes races during the 39-day season.

“Bigger field sizes and richer races bring out the best that horse racing has to offer,” Seymore said.  “We also want to reward the horsemen that help take horse racing to new heights.”

Closing day, Sunday, August 16, will be the richest day of horse racing in the history of Colorado with the $100,000 Arapahoe Park Classic for Thoroughbreds aged 3-years-old and up at 1 1/8 miles, the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds at 6 furlongs, the $160,000 Mile High Futurity for 2-year-old Quarter Horses at 400 yards, and the $25,000 Grade 3 COBRA Classic Sponsored by Crow Valley Ranch for Arabians aged 3 years-old and up at 1 1/4 miles.

Download the 2015 Arapahoe Park Guide.