Citing the challenging economic climate, Keeneland director of racing Rogers Beasley said the Lexington racetrack has cut purses for the fall meet by more than $1 million.
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.
With the economy affecting all aspects of the racing industry, Santa Anita has adjusted its overnight purses downward about 10% for the upcoming winter-spring meeting that begins Dec. 26.
Woodbine Entertainment Group, blaming a decline in slot machine business at both Mohawk and Woodbine as a result of recent implementation of government no smoking laws, announced July 15 an overall 5% cut in purses for Thoroughbred racing.
Santa Anita has announced an across-the-board decrease in purse levels beginning Jan. 31 as a result of declines in off-track and out-of-state handle during the one month-old meeting.
Illinois racing took a multimillion-dollar hit as Gov. George Ryan sliced up this year's overall state appropriations bill to deal with a budget crisis. Among the items cut by Ryan was money for the "recapture" of purse money.
In order to protect overnight purses, Turfway Park has reduced the purse for the grade II Lane's End Spiral Stakes to $500,000. In recent years, the Spiral, a 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail, has gone for $600,000.
General manager Peter Berube announced today that effective next Tuesday, Jan. 29, purses for races at Tampa Bay Downs will be reduced. The action is necessitated by the decision of seven tracks outside of Florida to deny Tampa Bay Downs access to their simulcast broadcast signals.
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