According to Jockey Club statistics, purses in Louisiana averaged more
than $25,000 per race in 2009, about $10,000 more than the average 10
years earlier and almost four times the average in 1991.
Ideally, the large purses, fueled by slots revenue, will provide an
incentive for breeders to produce better horses, not just more horses.
But there’s a delicate balance between breeding horses to run for
large purses and breeding horses to improve the breed. Can the sport
really improve if the quality of the horses doesn’t improve?
Brett Brinkman sees the issue from different perspectives. He owns Le
Mesa Stallions, a Carencro breeding farm that’s the home of six
stallions. The star is Yankee Gentleman, whose $5,000 stud fee is the
highest for a stallion standing in Louisiana. Brinkman also is a trainer
who races at every Louisiana track.
“We – I mean the state as a whole – we have rewarded mediocrity," Brinkman said...