The three Triple Crown race winners are all pointing toward the Haskell Invitational (gr. I), but a hefty bonus in the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) could help lure a top 3-year-old.
Sellers of yearlings in Britain and Ireland are working to put together a bonus fund worth £2-million (approximately $3,269,400 in U.S. funds) for the connections of nominated horses that win maiden races next year for 2-year-olds. Each bonus will be worth £10,000 ($16,347), and it is hoped that up to 200 races will be supported. Some of the bonus money also will be made available to 3-year-olds.
Arlington Park management has reached an agreement with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) to offer a bonus of up to 5% of the base purse of overnight races contingent upon the number of distinct wagering interests in the starting field.
Tin Cup Chalice has a shot at the $250,000 OTB Big Apple Triple bonus in the Aug. 20 Albany Stakes at Saratoga. No horse has won the bonus, which was instituted in 1999.
Suffolk Downs has announced that the purse for this year's Massachusetts Handicap will be $5 million if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both he and 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Curlin remain unbeaten in 2008 and go on to start in the MassCap against one another. The $5 million would include a $1-million participation bonus for each.
Churchill Downs will supplement the purse for the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) to $1 million if at least one grade I winner starts in the race.
If the winner of the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) brings a recent grade- or group-I victory to the starting gate, the triumphant owners will take home a $150,000 bonus, Turfway Park officials announced Sept. 5.
The $1-million Yum! Brands bonus that will be offered to this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor if he posts a margin larger than Barbaro's 6 1/2-length triumph in 2006 received cautious responses from Derby-bound trainers Tuesday morning on the backstretch at Churchill Downs.
Philadelphia Park will increase the purse of its signature event for 3-year-old fillies, the grade II Cotillion Stakes, from $300,000 to $500,000 and offer a bonus as well.
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella traveled from Arkansas to Pennsylvania Monday to hand-deliver a $5 million check to Roy and Pat Chapman, owners of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones.
Someday Farm's Smarty Jones, unbeaten in five career starts, heads a record list of 152 nominations for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 10 at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/8-mile stakes is the highlight of the eighth and final day of the Racing Festival of the South, and also closing day of the live meet at the Hot Springs track.
It's not quite the $5 million VISA Triple Crown, but in 2003, 3-year-old fillies will have a series of their own that offers a $2 million bonus.
A field of 10 headed by Select Stable's Repent has been entered for the $500,000 Illinois Derby at Sportsman's Park April 6. The grade II event offers a $1-million bonus to the connections of the winner if that horse goes on to capture any Triple Crown race.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Gimmicks and bonuses are fine to help attract racing sponsors. But record keepers should show some discretion in deciding what counts and what doesn't.
Fair Grounds has doubled its “Great Post Challenge” bonus—now awarding $1 million to any horse which wins both the grade II Louisiana Derby and the grade I Kentucky Derby in 2001.
French Derby winner Holding Court and Vodafone Epsom Derby winner Sinndar are in line for a $1-million bonus should either emerge victorious in Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse.
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