Citing a decline of in-state wagering, Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona announced Jan. 18 that it would reduce the purses of six stakes races. The reductions total $175,000.
In agreement with the Arizona Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the stakes to be reduced are:
--Mesa Handicap, Turf Paradise Handicap, Sun City Handicap, and Arizona Oaks, from $50,000 to $25,000 each
--Phoenix Gold Cup, from $100,000 to $75,000
--Turf Paradise Derby, from $100,000 to $50,000
“Our out of state handle is up but our in-state handle is down thus producing a purse overpayment,” Eugene T. Joyce, track president and general manager, said in a statement released by the track. “However, we remain optimistic that our new nighttime simulcasting and on-going expansion of our OTB sites will have a positive impact
“The HBPA agreed to these cuts in order to maintain the overnight purses at the present level, since this affects the majority of horsemen,” Tom Metzen, executive director of the AzHBPA, said in a statement.
“We will meet with our horsemen again in mid-February to assess the status of the purse account,” said Joyce “