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NYRA News: Big Purses Bring Big Stars

NYRA has announced the purse structure for the Belmont spring/summer meet and for Saratoga.  The 56 day Belmont meeting will see purses increase by 26.6 percent to $9.05 million, which equals a jump of $1.9 million.  Maiden special weights will pay $70,000 for sprints and $75,000 for routes.  Average daily purses at Belmont will change from $430,000 to $620,000.  Purses for the 40 day Saratoga meeting will go up $2.85 million (27 percent) to a total of $13.35 million. At the Spa, a maiden special weight will pay $80,000 going short and $85,000 for a distance of ground.  Upstate daily purses will average $930,000.
Fueled by the slot money from the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct, the huge purses are drawing the big name jockeys. Julien Leparoux and Rosie Napravnik have announced that they will be joining the New York rider colony.  For the first time Leparoux will be passing up the spring/summer Churchill Downs meeting.  He has dominated the jockey colonies at Churchill and Keeneland in recent years.  The 2009 Eclipse Award winner has been spending summers at Saratoga.
Rosie Napravnik, who usually summers at Delaware Park, will move her tack to New York when the Fair Grounds closes on April 1.  She is on her way to a second straight riding title at the New Orleans track. Matthew Muzikar will pick up the book of Napravnik.  Muzikar currently handles Javier Castellano and Cornelio Velasquez.  To be able to handle Napravnik, Muzikar will be dropping Velasquez as of April 4.  Napravnik has spent two winters at Aqueduct.


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Older Comments about NYRA News: Big Purses Bring Big Stars...

To fund the Haskell for the following year.
The similar product you had last year resulted in over 8 million loss, actually it is closer to 12 million according to the racing sites. If the horsemen had not gotten a 4 million loan, the Haskell and other stakes races could not be run. This was why they begged the NJ sports authority to loan them money which will be paid back added to the rent. The basic problem is that they need to make back in profit the money to hold the following yrs stakes race purses and in addition money to pay back the loan they took out to fund this yrs stakes. If that is not a potential downward spiral, what is. The question that Monmouth will have to answer after this yrs meet is what happens if they continue to lose money and not make enough profit to fund the Haskel
The second string of Pletcher, McLaughlin, etc. are pretty good and all of the Monmouth regulars will produce a similar product to last year. I am not an expert on the budget issues.
Andy if only second stringers show up at Monmouth, the racing product starts to resemble a second rate track and the horsemen at Monmouth are depending on on track handle to pay for purses. What you have is a downward spiral. For awhile there were a lot of claiming races with second rate horses at Saratoga. Not any more. Unless the Monmouth horsemen can enhance the fan experience, they are going to be in trouble. Prior to the purse announcement of the NYRA, Monmouth was projected to lose over 8 million this year. And that was with basically the same level of horses as last year.
Not all the horses will fit the fields in NY. There should be plenty of second stringers at Monmouth, along with the regulars.
Save a seat for me at the Belmont, Matt.
Racino money is a slippery slope. What tracks need to do is take that money allocate some of for improving the facilities for the racing fans and then use some of it for publicity for the racing product. Take advantage of the full fields with lots of talent that large purses will produce to better market horse racing. But none of this is done so in not too distant a future when this money is withdrawn, big surprise.
My gut feeling is that Racino money is a very slippery slope, but in the short term what's good for New York is good for racing in general. NY breeding program should get a big boost. It has been ages since we've had a true New York star. Quality Road was close but no Cigar (literally & figuratively).
What will be left for Monmouth Brian is zippo. Monmouth is unable to get enough money to run the Haskell this year and is begging Trenton for some help. Of course the NYRA ought to be very careful and still promote the racing product, which of course they won't do. Because all they have to do is look at Ontario and PA who want to take all the slots money for themselves and nothing for racing.
Money talks! Good for NYRA ... but what will be left for poor little Monmouth?

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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