Incentive Program Boosts Races at Saratoga

From the New York Racing Association

Twelve more races qualified under the purse incentive program created to increase field size during week two of the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet, according to The New York Racing Association. Purse increases from incentives during the meet’s second week totaled $74,750, a 16.5% advance over the original purse values.

Thirty% of races (36 of 120) have been enhanced by the purse incentive program through week two, for a total purse increase of $249,020, a 16.4% advance over the original purse values.

Announced by NYRA in July, the program employs several methods to increase purses based on the number of horses starting in a race. Dirt races with more than eight betting interests leaving the paddock receive 10 or 15% purse hikes, based on the conditions of the race.  Races taken off the turf with eight or more betting interests leaving the paddock are boosted 20%.

And, “per horse” increases are provided for dirt races at nine furlongs and longer (for each betting interest above six), and turf races longer than nine furlongs (for each betting interest above eight), with incremental values based on the class of the race.

Eleven of the 12 enhanced purses during week two were for dirt races with more than eight betting interests, which received 10 or 15% purse hikes.  Two races qualified for incremental per-horse increases, one dirt and one turf. Favorable weather resulted in no races taken off the turf, unlike the meet’s first week when five of the 10 off-the-turf races jumped in value because of the incentive program.

Purses for one race climbed under two of the conditions:

--The fourth race Aug. 9, an allowance optional claiming race for New York-breds at nine furlongs on the main track drew nine betting interests and received a 15% hike ($7,650 for a dirt race greater than eight) plus an additional $18,000 for three additional starters over six (at $6,000 per horse).  The original $51,000 purse was increased by $25,650 for a final purse of $76,650.

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