Citing a sluggish local and national economy as primary factors, the Oak Tree Racing Association announced Oct. 21 that overnight purses will be cut 10%, effective Oct. 24.
For the second time at the current meeting, Santa Anita will increase its overnight purses by 5%, according to track president Ron Charles.
Santa Anita Park announced a purse increase of 5% on Feb. 10, which will result in overnight purse distribution at the Arcadia, Calif., track of approximately $300,000 per day.
While California has worried about declining field sizes for about two years, Santa Anita Park has created hope this year by attracting 20% more starters per race in its first two weeks. On the East Coast, however, average field size has gone from boom to bust. Gulfstream Park came out of its 2001 season with an 8.2% increase in average starters per race, but this year field size lagged 18% during the first week of racing.
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