PA-Bred Purses Expected to Grow This Year

The PHBA projects $14.5 million in restricted purses, plus millions in bonuses.

The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association said it expects purse money for Pennsylvania-bred racehorses to increase this year.

In its most recent newsletter the PHBA said more than 550 restricted races valued at a total of $14.5 million will be offered at the state's three Thoroughbred tracks in 2014. Estimates call for $8.2 million to be available at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, $4.4 million at Parx Racing, and $2 million at Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

The Pennsylvania-bred stakes schedule, which will offer races worth a total of $1 million, will be released soon, the PHBA said.

There also will be the customary breeder, owner, and stallion awards, which amounted to about $10 million in 2013, as well as bonuses for owners of Pennsylvania-breds that finish in the top three in overnight races at the three racetracks; last year the awards totaled about $7 million.

The program is largely funded through revenue from slot machines in the state. PHBA president Brian Sanfratello said the Pennsylvania Breeding Fund Program "distributes more money, on a per-foal basis, than nearly every other state-bred program."

Purses at the three Pennsylvania tracks last year totaled $115 million, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. About $12.5 million, including stakes, was paid in restricted purses, with Penn National leading the way at $7.54 million.