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adows announced Monday that the 2009 edition of the Delvin Miller Adios will offer a projected total purse of $820,000--its richest in years--and will space eliminations and the final heat eight days apart, a format introduced last year.


The purse enhancement for the Adios, one of harness racing's premier events for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, is being funded by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA), which is providing a total of $1.5 million to augment the purses of the track's most important stakes.


"This is a wonderful contribution by our horsemen," said David Wiegmann, acting general manager for The Meadows. "Our partnership with the MSOA has enabled us to significantly upgrade our purse structure and elevate our product to the top tier of harness racing."


Last year's Adios, which carried a purse of about $450,000, was hosted by Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs due to construction of a permanent racino at The Meadows. That facility is set to debut this spring, enabling The Meadows to again stage its full complement of stakes.


While the Adios historically has featured same-day eliminations and final heats, Wiegmann said the new format proved popular with horsemen and fans alike.


"Horsemen clearly prefer it because their horses aren't required to go two demanding heats within hours," he said. "Fans like it because it gives them two special occasions to celebrate with us. For these reasons, we expect the 2009 Adios to draw a top field and outstanding fan support."


Eliminations for the 2009 Adios are set for Friday, July 24, with the final to take place Saturday, Aug. 1.


The MSOA long has contributed to stakes purses, but this year's allocation far surpasses the approximately $450,000 the organization provided in 2007. The MSOA contribution will fund these additional purse enhancements:


  • Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo. The filly division of the Adios will offer a purse of roughly $250,000, compared to $150,000 previously.
  •  Currier & Ives. These events for 3-year-old trotters--one open division, one for fillies--typically offered combined purses of just under $200,000. In 2009, they'll go for a combined $320,000 and follow the same format as the Adios--eliminations followed by finals the next week.
  •    Arden Downs Stakes. The six Adios Week events that help build excitement for the Adios and Adioo Volo sometimes were less attractive financially than they seemed because purses were spread over so many divisions. This year, each division for 2 year olds will offer a minimum $20,000 purse while each division for 3 year olds will go for at least $30,000.
  •    PASS Championships. Thanks to matching contributions from the MSOA and horsemen at Harrah's Chester and Pocono Downs as well as a cash infusion from the state breeders' association, purses for championship legs of Pennsylvania Sires Stakes will increase from $150,000 to $200,000. (The Meadows)