In a press release dated Sept. 19, the New York Racing Association declares that Saratoga Race Course paid out its highest daily average purses and average overnight purses during the 2002 meeting that ran 36 days, from July 24th-Sept. 2.
The average daily purse of $615,711 represented an increase of 2.83% over the 2001 average of $598,769. The average per overnight--or per race--was $42,751, up 4.81% from last year's mark of $40,789.
"Our Saratoga purse increases reflect what our goal has been and will continue to be: to increase purses as incentive to attract the most talented and competitive horses available," said Mike Lakow, racing secretary and handicapper for NYRA. "We have done this successfully at Belmont Park and at Aqueduct, too, but Saratoga is the standard bearer for the industry. It is the best meet around and its purses should reflect that quality."