Stakes purses at the Belmont Park and Saratoga meets this year will increase roughly 27%, while overnight purses will jump about 42%, the New York Racing Association said Feb. 29.
Groom Sean Coulthard seemed to be waiting in ambush, as he stood in barn 2, stall 18, rubbing down Exciting Story. Coulthard, it seems, knew who was going to win the $750,000 Metropolitan Mile Handicap (gr. I), which was to be run in about 2 1/2 hours. "Here's the best bet of the day," he said emphatically to an unsuspecting passerby.