New York Horsemen Back Push for Takeout Reduction

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has thrown its support behind the New York Racing Association's quest to reduce pari-mutuel takeout at tracks in the state.

Richard Bomze, president of the New York THA, said Wednesday the organization that represents horsemen at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga met the week of April 9 and decided to support the plan pushed by NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz.

"We're going along with it," Bomze said. "We're in complete accord."

Schwartz has met with top state lawmakers at the capitol in Albany recently on the takeout issue. He said he wants to increase interest in New York racing among bettors by having the lowest takeout rates in the country.

The current takeout rate for win, place, and show bets is 15%, for exactas and quinellas 20%, and for exotics featuring three or more horses, 25%. Schwartz has not detailed how much he wants to cut takeout rates, which would not necessarily lower the state tax but come from the portion earmarked for the racing association or horsemen.