NYTHA, NYRA agree to continue per-start credit during winter meet

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Aug. 29, 2018

A program that began during the last winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack will return again for 2018-19, the New York Racing Association and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association announced Aug. 27.

The two organizations have agreed to again offer a “per-start credit” program for owners and trainers for two purposes: to encourage participation in the winter racing program and to help offset workers’ compensation costs.

All owners and trainers, including those who ship horses from other racetrack, will be guaranteed at least $300 per starter that finishes fourth through last in a race at Aqueduct from Dec. 7, 2018, through March 19, 2019. The credit will be applied to any outstanding balance for the New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund, which provides workers’ comp insurance for jockeys and exercise riders.

“Anything we can do to make New York an easier place to do business for our horsemen benefits the industry as a whole,” NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum said. “The Starter Loyalty Program is already reaping rewards for our owners. By bringing back the $300 Per-Start Credit program, we will encourage greater participation year-round, which will grow field size, make our racing more attractive to bettors and strengthen business across the board.”

“The Per-Start Credit program reflects NYRA’s commitment to supporting owners and trainers who race with us throughout the winter,” said Martin Panza, NYRA Senior Vice President for Racing Operations. “We’re pleased to work with NYTHA to bring it back for the 2018-19 winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.”

NYRA recently altered its purse payout structure. Owners are now paid 55% of the total purse to the winner, 20% for second, 12% for third, 6% for fourth and 4% for fifth. The remaining 3% is divided among the remaining runners.

Owners of horses that finish sixth-through-last split the 3% of the total purse, which can vary greatly depending on purse and field size. With the per-start credit in place, those owners will now earn a minimum of $300 per start. Trainers under the program will receive the $300 per-start credit when their horses finish fourth through last.

(Aqueduct photo by Coglianese/courtesy NYRA)