Woodbine officials said a "softening" in wagering has led them to cut purses by 3% effective Sept. 10.

"This purse decrease does not necessarily mean we are experiencing a negative business trend," said Hugh Mitchell, Woodbine's senior vice president of racing. After a number of years of wagering growth, our Thoroughbred wagering appears to have softened and leveled out in 2003. Past purse increases were implemented in anticipation of wagering continuing to grow.

"As a result of this Thoroughbred wagering trend and our slot operations being shut down for eight days because of the hydro blackout, a slight purse cut has become necessary,"

The cut comes after 10 consecutive purse increases for Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine dating back to September 1997.

The purse adjustment does not affect stakes races.

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