Sam Houston Cuts Purses

Sam Houston Race Park has cut purses after handle failed to meet purse projections. Overnight purses were adjusted 7%, effective Dec. 18, 2003 with the cuts to stakes purses beginning Jan. 17.

Stakes originally worth $50,000, such as the Jan. 17 Sam Houston Distaff Handicap and the Sam Houston Sprint Handicap, will run for $40,000. The Jan. 24 Super Bowl Stakes and the Jan. 31 Bucharest Stakes, both originally slated for $35,000 are now worth $30,000.

The cuts to stakes purses, however, will not affect the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, to be contested Jan. 17, or the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf, set for April 10.

"Perhaps we were a little too aggressive in determining the handle for the current meet," Robert L. Bork, president and general manager at Sam
Houston Race Park, said in a statement. "Consequently, we had to make the necessary adjustments to our purse structure."

The average on-track handle decreased 14% from last year's figures of $139,372 to $118,527 this season. The offsite handle has decreased 18% from $1,823,688 last year to $1,478,136 this year.

Sam Houston opened its meet Oct. 23 and live racing will continue through April 10.