Philadelphia Park announced a $10,000 per day purse increase Saturday, effective immediately, due to approximately $2-million in state-appropriated funds received by the Pennsylvania track. Purses will be raised $1,000 for every race with additional monies to be used on specific races later this year. The increase will raise average daily purses to $144,000.
"This increase will have a significant positive impact on our racing program and continues our commitment to live racing," said Sal Sinatra, the track's racing director.
In all, the state government has allocated $10-million to the horse racing industry in the state. Half of those funds are to be allocated to the operators of the state's four existing racetracks, Penn National, Pocono Downs, the Meadows, and Philadelphia Park.
"Through the cooperation of all facets of the racing industry--the operators, the horsemen and breeders--we have achieved our goal to improve the racing industry in Pennsylvania, specifically the live racing product, which is very important to Philadelphia Park horseman," said Michael P. Ballezzi, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Horseman's Association.
Philadelphia Park plans to re-vamp its state-bred bonus program with the funds, increasing state-bred stakes purses by $10,000 and adding two new state-bred stakes. The state-bred owner bonus program will see an increase to 40% of purse share for overnight races in the state, up from 33% last year.