The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has approved purse supplements for Indiana-breds running in certain open races, effective immediately.
According to a release from the commission, the "quality of racing initiative" approved July 13 was recommended by IHRC executive director Joe Gorajec.
The initiative calls for a 40% purse supplement for any Indiana-bred placing first, second, or third in any open race with a claiming price of $10,000 or greater. The commission noted that previously an Indiana-bred could earn more money in a restricted race than when competing against competition in an open race.
The program takes effect immediately and will be in place for the Hoosier Park meet that begins July 30. The commission release said it was supported by Indiana Downs, Hoosier Park, and the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
The commission has also established four "signature races for Indiana-breds" with a $200,000 guaranteed purse. These races will have their inaugural running in 2012.
"I am glad we have been proactive in ensuring that the substantial sums generated by slot machines will result in the best racing product possible," commission chairman Sarah McNaught said in a statement.
"We know that participating in a positive dialogue with our regulators and other stakeholders helped make a good proposal even better," said Randy Klopp, president of the Indiana HBPA, in a statement. "The HBPA board recognized this is a great opportunity to help put a program in place that will benefit our horsemen and women and, ultimately, the economy of the state."
The commission noted the latest action follows a similar program focused on open racing at tracks in the Hoosier state implemented this spring. "Tracks have been given targets by the commission to increase high quality races (allowance and claiming races $25,000 and up) while decreasing lower quality races (claiming $6,250 and below)," the release stated.