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Golden Gate Drops 3 Stakes, Cuts Purses 7.5%

Downturn in handle at current meet results in cutbacks at Bay Area track.

Due to downturn in handle at its current meet, Golden Gate Fields is reducing purses by an average of 7.5%, canceling three stakes and reducing the purses of two other stakes, the track announced Feb. 12. 

The reductions begin with the Feb. 18 racing program, according to a statement from Golden Gate Fields.

"In an effort to help the small stables in these tough economic times we've managed to keep the purses for the bottom level races the same," said racing secretary Sean Greely. He noted that the purse for $8,000 maiden claiming races will remain unchanged.

"If revenues increase, we'll raise purses back to the previous level," Greely said.

The Northern California track has canceled the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf (gr. IIIT), an 11-furlong event for 4-year-olds and up that was slated for May 29. Also eliminated from the 2010 schedule is the $50,000 Soviet Problem, a five-furlong turf race for fillies and mares that was scheduled to be run May 22, and the $50,000 Oriental Magic, a five-furlong turf dash for older horses that was scheduled for June 5.

In addition, the purses for both the Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-miles turf race for 3-year-old fillies that will be run April 17, and the Alcatraz, a 1 1/16-miles turf race for 3-year-olds that will be contested May 15, have been reduced from $75,000 to $60,000.

The $150,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) set for Feb. 20, the $150,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT) on April 24, and the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) on May 31 are not affected by the cuts.