Purses Reach Record Level at Penn National

The daily average purse is now a record $170,000.


Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course announced that a purse increase that went into effect June 11 raised the daily average purses at the track to a record $170,000.

A track release said the purses are almost 30% higher than the comparable period in 2008, with the average purse per race at $15,980, compared to $13,200 last year.

"One of the major forces in making our program grow is field size," Rob Marella, the track’s director of racing, said in the release. "Race secretary Paul Jenkins and his staff have done a great job utilizing the purse resources to put together a very attractive program for horsemen. Right now we are averaging 9.3 horses per race, the highest in the mid-Atlantic area."

Through the end of May, the track reported live on-track handle was up more than 10% and export wagering on the Penn National races increased more than 40% over 2008.