Anne M. Eberhardt

Turfway to Boost Purses With KTDF Supplements

Officials say money has accrued because of cancellations this winter.

A surplus in the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund will allow Turfway Park to increase purses for allowance and maiden special weight races through the end of its winter/spring meet.

Turfway director of racing Tyler Picklesimer said March 11 existing KTDF allotments will increase 50% for the two categories. For example, a maiden special weight event with a purse of $20,500 will now go for $26,500 because the KTDF share will increase from $12,000 to $18,000.

In such races only KTDF-registered horses are eligible for the supplements. Legislation that would make eligible Kentucky-breds who compete in allowance races for an optional claiming price of $25,000 or more is still in the General Assembly.

"Due to the unusual number of weather-related cancellations this year, we would have ended the meet with a large surplus of KTDF money," Picklesimer said in a release. "After meeting with the KTDF Advisory Committee, we were encouraged to offer the additional KTDF funds for the current meet's remaining allowance and maiden special weight races.

"That will allow Kentucky-bred horses the opportunity to earn more for their owners and trainers, and allow horsemen to make up some of the opportunities for income lost due to this difficult winter."

The purse for an allowance event with no conditions will increase from $26,500 to $34,000 with the boost in KTDF supplements.

"Anything we can do to make racing more lucrative at Turfway is positive," said Turfway general manager Chip Bach. "This decision helps mitigate the impact the winter had on our horsemen. We believe this added incentive will increase interest in the race days remaining for this meet."

Turfway currently is racing Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. It added an optional day Sunday, March 2, and said it will race Sunday, March 30, to end the meet.

The $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes and $125,000 Bourbonette Oaks (both gr. III) will be raced March 22 at Turfway.