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Mar 02, 2012

Purses to be reduced at Turfway Park


Florence, KY (Sports Network) - Because race days have not had to be canceled this year, Turfway Park is forced to reduce overnight purses by 25 percent beginning with Saturday's program.

Turfway, home of the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes, is trying to make up for an overpayment of purses due to the fact that better than normal weather has kept the track from canceling race days.

"We have actually paid out almost 12 percent more in purses so far this year compared to 2011; however, most of the overpayment resulted from not having to cancel any race cards this winter, a contingency we take into account but cannot predict, as the current mild winter proves," explained Turfway Park president and CEO Robert N. Elliston. "Compounding the problem is that wagering both on track and at other outlets is down 6 percent from where we expected it to be.

"Quite frankly, this unfortunate cut in purses for the remainder of this meet won't resolve our overpayment entirely, and further reductions are likely as we move into September and December."

The minimum race purse will drop from $6,000 to $4,500, minimum entry level allowance purses will drop from $24,000 to $21,400 and the minimum maiden special weight purse will drop from $22,000 to $19,600.

The Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes on March 24 will keep its $500,000 purse. The race was won last year by Animal Kingdom, who five weeks later captured the Kentucky Derby and was later voted 2011 champion three-year-old colt.

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