Ellis Park has raised the purse money of four stakes races to be run at the Henderson, Ky. track's upcoming summer meeting.
The largest purse increase is for the Don Bernhardt Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. Scheduled for July 26, the race's purse has been raised to $100,000 from $60,000. The base purse is $75,000 with an additional $25,000 coming from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
"This was done to make the purse equal for the Bernhardt and Ellis Park Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares sprinting," said Paul Kuerzi, Ellis Park's general manager.
"In part, we were able to make the increases because of a surplus of money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund, which we carried over from 2002. It's kind of our way of promoting the state's breeding industry. It's a good illustration of why Kentucky-bred should race in the state."
Also increased from $60,000 to $75,000 were the Regency Island, Audubon Oaks, and Dade Turf Classic. Each offers a base purse of $50,000 plus $25,000 from the KTDF.
The $200,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles will once again highlight the 41-day meet, which runs from July 19 through Sept. 1.