Saratoga purses will increase significantly based on the number of horses starting in each race, according to the new 2009 purse incentive program announced July 17 by The New York Racing Association (NYRA) for the six-week meet running from July 29 through Sept. 7.
Any dirt race that leaves the paddock with more than eight betting interests will receive the following purse increases:
• Maiden, maiden claiming and claiming races: 10%
• Allowance races and overnight stakes: 15%
For dirt races at nine furlongs and longer, NYRA will provide incremental increases for every betting interest above six that leaves the paddock:
• Maiden races: $4,000/horse above six
• Allowance races: $6,000/horse above six
• Money allowance races and overnight stakes: $8,000/horse above six
For turf races longer than nine furlongs NYRA will provide incremental increases for every betting interest above eight that leaves the paddock:
• Maiden races: $4,000/horse above eight
• Allowance races: $6,000/horse above eight
• Money allowance races and overnight stakes: $8,000/horse above eight
If a carded turf race is taken off the grass and leaves the paddock with eight or more betting interests, NYRA will offer a 20% increase in the total purse.
“2008 was the first year we opted to incentivize distance races and we were very pleased with the response from owners and trainers,” said PJ Campo, NYRA vice president and director of racing. “This year, we’ve decided to take it a step further and provide total purse increases for all dirt races with more than eight betting interests. Higher purses attract quality horses and the additional wagering opportunities available in larger fields drive handle. Incentive programs like these are good news for all of our fans and stakeholders and we’re excited to expand the program in 2009.”