Purses in many categories to increase at Aqueduct winter meet

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Nov. 22, 2018

Purses at Aqueduct Racetrack for the winter meet that begins Dec. 7 will increase from $1,000 to $8,000 in most categories, the New York Racing Association announced Nov. 21.

The increases are tied to an effort by NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to bolster the late fall and winter racing product in New York and also to increase field size. Starter payments and a loyalty rewards program have been in place for more than a year.

Purses for open maiden special weight events will jump to $68,000 from the current $60,000, while the same class for New York-bred runners will increase to $60,000 from $55,000, NYRA said.

“These purse increases represent our continued commitment to maintaining quality racing in New York on a year-round basis,” NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Martin Panza said in a release. “The purse money offered at Aqueduct is competitive with, if not stronger than, amounts offered for top-flight racing across the country. We value and appreciate our local horsemen that continue to support our live racing product into the New Year.”

“NYTHA and NYRA have collaborated on a number of initiatives designed to reward the horsemen who do business in New York year-round, and this purse bump is another positive step in support of our owners and trainers,” NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum said. “Adding this to an already strong purse structure, as well as the Starter Loyalty Program and $300 Per Start Credit Program, gives horsemen real ‘dollars and cents’ reasons to run in New York all year long.”

In other purse changes, first- and second-level New York-bred allowance categories will increase to $64,000 from $57,000 and $67,000 from $59,000, respectively. Purses for open allowance events will increase with optional claiming/allowance races offered for $82,000, an increase of $7,000); non-winners of three/$80,000 claiming races will run for $80,000, up $8,000; non-winners of two/$62,500 optional claiming events will go for $75,000, an increase of $6,000; and the purse for the non-winners of one class will increase $3,000 to $70,000.

For claiming races, the purse for a $25,000 claimer for non-winners of three races will be $37,000; the purse for a $14,000 claimer for non-winners of three races will be $28,000; and the purse for a $16,000 claimer for non-winners of two races will be $28,000. The purses represent an increase of $1,000.

An increase of $2,000 per category will be realized in the $16,000 claimer for non-winners of two races ($32,000 purse), the $40,000 claimer for non-winners of two races ($42,000 purse), and the $25,000 claimer for non-winners of two races ($36,000 purse).

The winter meet at Aqueduct continues through March 2019.

(Aqueduct photo by Coglianese Photos)