(Edited Arlington Park press release)
Arlington Park management has reached an agreement with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (ITHA) to offer a bonus of up to 5% of the base purse of overnight races contingent upon the number of distinct wagering interests in the starting field.
The base purse of overnight races that leave the starting gate with 10 or 11 separate wagering interests will be increased by 2.5% while the base purse of overnight races that start with 12 wagering interests will receive a 5% boost. For example, should a maiden special weight race with a base purse of $28,000 leave the gate with 10 or 11 wagering interests, that purse will be increased to $28,700 and increased again to $29,400 should a full field of 12 betting interests start.
Field size at Arlington Park last year averaged 8.23, slightly ahead of the national average of 8.17, with more than 30% of the more than 900 overnight races carded last year starting with 10 or more separate betting interests.
“Offering this incentive is a win-win-win situation for the horsemen, racing fans and the racetrack,” said Kevin Greeley, Arlington Park’s vice president of racing and racing secretary. “The more horses there are in a race, the better the wagering opportunity for the racing fans, which leads to more betting which of course leads to higher purses.”
The purse enhancement is being offered on all overnight races, regardless of class level or surface, from maiden claiming races to overnight stakes races on both Arlington’s all-weather main track and its turf course.