NYRA to raise purses for 2024 NY-bred foal crop

by Pat McKenna

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a significant investment in the future of the New York-bred program, paving the way for the 2024 New York-bred foal crop to compete for some of the richest purses of any state-bred program in the nation.

Beginning on January 1, 2026, NY-bred overnight races for 2-year-olds on the NYRA circuit will offer purse amounts matching the race’s open-company counterpart. Accordingly, the 2024 New York-bred foal crop will gain the benefits and financial rewards that will flow from purse parity.

walking horse through Saratoga crowdAt the 2023 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, maiden races restricted to New York-bred 2-year-olds featured a purse of $88,000 compared to a purse of $105,000 offered for 2-year-olds competing in an open-company maiden event.

While this purse increase will impact only the 2024 New York-bred foal crop, NYRA intends to further expand purse parity for additional categories of New York-bred races in the future.

In 2022, NYRA conducted 556 races exclusively for registered New York-breds with purses totaling $42,366,000. Among those races were 56 stakes with $8,725,000 of purse money on offer. NYRA holds three high profile NY-bred showcase days annually, highlighted by New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course. In 2023, Saratoga Showcase Day was run on the Sunday of Travers Weekend and featured a whopping 113 NY-breds competing in 11 races, including six stakes worth a combined $1.25 million.

As a result of the partnership between NYRA and FOX Sports, nearly every NY-bred contest is broadcast live to a national audience on the FOX Sports family of networks. Both Saratoga Live and America’s Day at the Races, which are produced by NYRA, have generated sustained ratings growth since they were launched nationally in 2016.

“The New York-bred program is critically important to the future of thoroughbred racing in New York State,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “This new purse structure increases the value of the upcoming foal crop of New York-breds, and reflects NYRA’s commitment to the owners, breeders and trainers who choose to breed and race in New York.”

Beyond the rich purses offered by NYRA, a variety of owner, breeder and stallion awards are available to those who breed and race in New York. These lucrative incentives serve as a significant benefit to thoroughbred breeding farms across the state, which create and sustain thousands of jobs in every corner of New York.

“This initiative is a strong signal to the bloodstock market on why you should breed and foal in New York, and own a New York-bred to race,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB). “New York-breds compete and win at the highest levels, and NYRA’s consistent support guarantees more opportunities than ever for New York State’s breeders and owners.”

New York State has adopted rules that expand the reach of the New York-bred awards and benefits by clarifying a pathway for non-resident mares to gain residency status. According to the rule changes, a non-resident mare purchased in foal through public auction is deemed a resident mare provided the mare is purchased for at least $50,000 in the public auction; is present in the state of New York within 15 days after a sale in North America and 60 days at any public auction sale abroad; the foal is foaled in New York; and the mare thereafter is continuously in residence in New York from within 120 days after her last cover in the year of conception of another foal and remains in residency until foaling.

“It pays to participate in the New York-bred program,” added Thompson. “And bringing a mare back to New York is a valuable proposition, especially for the 2024 foaling season.”

For additional information on resident and non-resident mares and their foals, visit https://www.nybreds.com/rules/resident-non-resident-mares.

To support the residency rule, NYRA and The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (NYTBDF) provide up to $650,000 per year in purse bonuses to owners. The bonus offers $5,000 every time a New York-sired New York-bred wins at the maiden special weight or allowance level at NYRA’s tracks.

Source: NYRA

Is Horse Racing Dead? Churchill Downs to Offer up nearly $9 Million in Purses

Churchill winner's circleThe 144th renewals of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) and the $1 million-guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) headline a strong roster of 32 stakes races with total purses of $8.84 million scheduled for Churchill Downs Racetrack’s April 28-June 30 Spring Meet.

The schedule is headlined by a spectacular Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 5 that features seven graded stakes races – including three Grade I events – with total stakes purses of $4.2 million. The Kentucky Oaks Day program one day earlier features six graded stakes with total stakes purses of $2.35 million. Another highlight is the “Downs After Dark” nighttime program on Saturday, June 16, featuring five graded stakes, topped by the 37th running of the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI), with total stakes purses of $1.1 million.

The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks are among six Grade I races on the Spring Meet schedule that also features seven Grade II events, 10 Grade III contests, one listed $100,000 event, two additional $100,000 stakes and six overnight stakes races that offer purses of $65,000-added. The Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Stephen Foster Handicap programs are among seven racing days that will feature two or more stakes contests. Alongside the Derby, Oaks and Stephen Foster Handicap, Grade I events set for the 2018 meet are the $500,000 Old Forester Turf Classic and $300,000 Humana Distaff on Derby Day and the Oaks Day renewal of the $350,000 La Troienne.

Four events on the Spring Meet schedule will benefit from individual purse increases of $50,000. Those races are the $300,000 Pat Day Mile Presented by LG&E and KU(GIII) on Derby Day and the Oaks Day renewals of the $350,000 La Troienne, the $200,000 Edgewood Presented by Forcht Bank (GIII) and the $200,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII).

Along with the running of the Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the nation’s oldest continuously-held sports event, a trio of Grade I events on the Derby Day racing program includes the 32nd running of the Old Forester Turf Classic (formerly known as the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic from 2000-17) for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the grass; the 32nd renewal of the Humana Distaff, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares ages 4 and up. Completing the spectacular roster of seven Derby Day graded stakes events will be the $500,000 Churchill Downs (GII) for 4-year-olds and up at seven furlongs; the $300,000 Longines Distaff Turf Mile (GII) for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up at one mile on turf; the Pat Day Mile for 3-year-olds at one mile on the main track; and the $300,000 American Turf Presented by Ram Trucks (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

The 2017 Kentucky Derby was won by MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Theresa Viola, St Elias, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Always Dreaming, while Gunpowder Farms LLC’s Divisidero earned his second consecutive victory in the Turf Classic. Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Paulassilverlining won the Humana Distaff.

The six stakes races on the Friday, May 4 Kentucky Oaks Day program are headed by the Oaks, America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, which will be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, and the La Troienne (GI), a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares ages 4 and up. The Oaks Day schedule also features the $400,000 Alysheba (GII) for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles; the $200,000 Eight Belles Presented by Kentucky Trailer (GII) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs; the Edgewood (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf; and the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs on turf.

China Horse Club International Ltd. and Clearsky Farm’s Abel Tasman rallied from last in a field of 14 to win the 2017 Kentucky Oaks, while Maggi Moss’ Big World took the La Troienne.

The Stephen Foster Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds and up, is the main even on the June 16 night racing program the features five stakes contests. Joining the Grade I headliner will be the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (GII) for fillies and mares ages 3 and up at 1 1/8 miles; the $200,000 Wise Dan (GII) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on turf; the $100,000 Matt Winn (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; and the $100,000 Regret (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The Stephen Foster was won last year by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimneys Farm LLC’s Gun Runner, who would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) and Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year and the Champion Older Male of 2017.

Other multiple stakes programs include the Kentucky Derby Week Thurby program on Thursday, May 3 that includes the $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile for 2-year-olds at five furlongs and the Opening Verse Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and one mile on turf; the Saturday, May 26 card topped by the $100,000 Winning Colors (GIII) for fillies and mares 3 and up at six furlongs and the Keertana Overnight Stakes for fillies and mares 3 and up at 1 ½ miles on turf; the Saturday, June 2 “Downs After Dark” program topped by the $100,000 Aristides (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs and the Mighty Beau Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs on turf; and the Saturday, June 30 closing day program with a trio of stakes races led by the $100,000 Bashford Manor (GIII) for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, the $100,000 Debutante (Listed) for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs, and the Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.

The Spring Meet stales schedule kicks off under the lights during the Opening Night celebration on Saturday, April 28. The night’s racing program will be highlighted by the $100,000 William Walker, a race for 3-year-olds named for the pioneering African-American jockey and Kentucky Derby winner which will be run for the fourth time. The William Walker is the only race on the Spring Meet schedule that will undergo a change in racing surface or distance. The race will now be run on the turf at five furlongs after being run on the main track at six furlongs in its first three renewals.

Other graded stakes contests on the schedule include the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles on turf on May 19, and the Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap (GIII), a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3 and up on June 9. Two additional overnight stakes races complete the schedule: the May 12 Unbridled Sydney for fillies and mares 3 and up at five furlongs on turf, and the June 23 Roxelana, for fillies and mares 3 and up at six furlongs on the main track.

Mahoning Valley Increases Purses for 2018

Is Horse Racing Dead?

Mahoning Valley Race Course, in cooperation with the Ohio HBPA, announced a 5-7% purse increase effective Jan. 2.

Source: Mahoning Valley Increases Purses for 2018

This Track Will Offer Monster-sized Purses

Press Release

Highlighted by two new graded-stakes events and a record $8.4 million in purses and supplemental Kentucky-bred monies, Kentucky Downs will offer one of the world’s most lucrative racing programs during its five-day, all-turf season Sept. 2 – 14.|

With the $400,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint and $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf enjoying Grade 3 status for the first time, three of the track’s 13

stakes are now graded. The stakes duo joins the Grade 3, $600,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs, which along with New York’s Belmont Park were the only tracks to gain more than one newly-graded stakes.

Graded stakes are those judged the best in America by the Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association’s American Graded Stakes Committee. The Turf Sprint and Ladies Turf are among only eight in the United States and Canada that received new Grade 3 rankings for 2017.

A record $8,404,000 will be offered in purses and Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund supplements at the meet, for an average exceeding $1.68 million a day — tops in the country. Even horses that aren’t registered Kentucky-breds will compete for some of the biggest pots in the country.

The mushrooming of purses is fueled by what horsemen earn through historical horse racing, an innovative pari-mutuel technology that allows patrons to bet on previously-run races for a different type of wagering experience.

“By working with our horsemen and embracing historical horse racing, Kentucky Downs is able to offer unprecedented purses. The owners and trainers have responded and now we’re getting over the hump to attract graded status for our stakes,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager. “Success will breed success, we believe exponentially. Additional graded stakes are so important, because that provides trainers from across the country more reasons to come for a short meet. And as they make plans for their Kentucky Downs’ contingent, we encourage them to put additional horses on the flight or van to go after our $130,000 maiden races, with allowance races $140,000 and $145,000 offered for Kentucky-breds, which comprise the vast majority of our horses.

“We want to be the prototype, to demonstrate how historical horse racing can be a game-changer for the good as an alternative gambling opportunity based on horse racing and which intrinsically is our product.”

The 1 1/2-mile Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup, for which Skychai Racing’s Da Big Hoss is the two-time defending champion, will be conducted on the same blockbuster card Saturday, Sept. 9, as the 6 1/2-furlong Turf Sprint, mile Ladies Turf and $350,000 Ladies Sprint at 6 1/2 furlongs. The Turf Sprint received a $50,000 purse hike over 2016.

Kentucky Downs added a 3-year-old stakes: the $250,000 Franklin-Simpson to be held at seven-eighths of a mile on Thursday, Sept. 14, which is closing day.

Two stakes have new names paying tribute to past winners. The $400,000 Tourist Mile, formerly the More Than Ready Mile, honors WinStar Farm’s winner of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Mile, Eclipse Award finalist and current WinStar stallion. Tourist won the stakes now bearing his name in 2015 off a 10-month layoff.

The 1 5/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares formerly known as the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon now is the $350,000 Ramsey Farm Stakes, recognizing the track and Kentucky’s all-time winningest owner in Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Nicholasville farm. The Ramseys won the stakes last year with Al’s Gal, who in her next start captured Woodbine’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor. The Ramsey Farm also is on the closing card.

The Tourist Mile has been moved to Saturday, Sept. 2, which features a stakes quartet on the opening card. Also that day: The $350,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile, $350,000 Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies and $150,000 One Dreamer for fillies and mares.

Kentucky Downs is staging two additional $75,000 starter-allowance races for a total of four on Sunday, Sept. 10 that will serve as automatic qualifying races for the Claiming Crown in December at Gulfstream.

The Claiming Crown, which totaled $1.1 million in purses last year, serves as a Breeders’ Cup-style championship for claiming horses — the work horses of American racing.

The new Claiming Crown Canterbury Stakes Prep at Kentucky Downs, at 6 1/2 furlongs, will be for 3-year-olds and older horses that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2016. The Claiming Crown Distaff Dash Stakes Prep at Kentucky Downs is the filly and mare counterpart. Also back for the second year are the Claiming Crown Emerald Stakes Prep at Kentucky Downs and Claiming Crown Tiara Prep at Kentucky Downs, both a mile and 70 yards.

Winners of the qualifying races are guaranteed a spot in the corresponding Claiming Crown race, with Kentucky Downs providing a shipping stipend of up to $1,000 and the $100 nomination fee.

“We are putting out our stakes schedule and condition book 4 1/2 months in advance to give horsemen plenty of time to chart out their summer and fall schedule,” said racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer. “We constantly work to improve our entire racing program in order to attract horses and horsemen from across the country and even overseas. We also appreciate that our bread and butter is the Kentucky horsemen, who have consistently proven that their horses hold their own no matter who shows up.

“Our Claiming Crown qualifiers provide big-money steppingstones to the championship for our blue-collar horses, allowing those owners and trainers their own day in the spotlight.”

Kentucky Downs’ 2017 stakes

Including KTDF supplements for Kentucky-breds

Saturday, Sept. 2 — $350,000 Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies, 2yo fillies, 7 furlongs; $350,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile, 2yos, 7 furlongs; $400,000 Tourist Mile, 3-year-olds & up, mile; $150,000 One Dreamer, fillies & mares 3 years old & up, mile and 70 yards. Thursday, Sept. 7 — $150,000 The Old Friends Stakes, 3-year-olds & up, mile and 70 yards. Saturday, Sept. 9 — $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3), fillies & mares 3 years old & up, mile; $400,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3), 3-year-olds & up, 6 1/2 furlongs; $600,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup (G3), 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles; $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint, fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 6 1/2 furlongs. Sunday, Sept. 10 — $350,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby, 3-year-olds, 1 5/16 miles; $200,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 5/16 miles. Sept. 14 — $350,000 Ramsey Farm, fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 1 5/16 miles; $250,000 Franklin-Simpson, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs.