Big purse hike for upper-level open, state-restricted races at Parx

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 26, 2022

Purses for upper-level overnight events at Parx Racing, including those restricted to Pennsylvania-bred runners, will increase with the condition book that begins Nov. 1.

The average increase for open maiden special weights, first- and second-level allowance races, and open allowance races is 25%. Maiden special weights will jump from $42,000 to $55,000, while an open allowance test will go from $50,000 to $62,000.

The average increase for Pennsylvania-restricted races—maiden special weight, non-winners of one restricted race other than, and non-winners of two restricted races other than—is 50%. A state-restricted maiden special weight will increase to $50,000 from $34,000, while the two allowance conditions will rise to $52,000 and $55,000, respectively.

There have been recent discussions among officials with Parx and the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association about offering higher purses for restricted races at a time when horses bred in the Mid-Atlantic region qualify for multiple state incentive programs–sometimes up to four.

“Obviously, we want to stay competitive with all the programs in the Mid-Atlantic,” PTHA Executive Director Jeff Matty told the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission at its Oct. 26 meeting.

In addition, Parx has added five $75,000 open stakes, three on Nov. 23 and two on Nov. 29, the day of the previously-scheduled $200,000 Pennsylvania Nursery for state-bred 2-year-olds. The condition book indicates Parx will continue to offer higher purses across the board on select racing days, including Nov. 23.