Horse Racing Showing Positive Signs—Purse Money Upped at Racetracks Around the Country

“The purse increase is our way of thanking the horsemen for their support.”

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Racetracks in Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois, among others, have all recently announced purse money is being increased.

“The quality of our races, and the quantity of starters per race, has been welcomed by our fans both locally and globally,” Ritvo said.

The catalyst for the increase in purses in New York has been the newly-opened casino at Aqueduct, which sets aside a portion of its revenue for purse money.

In New York, the New York Racing Association announced average daily purses for the upcoming Belmont Park spring meet will be increased by 44 percent to $620,000. Higher purses result in higher-quality racing and often more interesting wagering opportunities for handicappers.

Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago, Ill. recently opened its spring meet with increased purses from a year ago as well. However, like the domestic economy as a whole, horse racing is beginning to show some signs of improvement.

“We continue to see an influx of new fans and families coming to our facility to not only enjoy the amenities we have to offer, but to watch the world’s top horses compete for the finest horsemen.”

. In 2011, Hawthorne offered just $119,000 a day in purse money. For the Saratoga summer meet, average daily purses will jump 39 percent from 2011 to $930,000.

At Sam Houston Park in Texas, a relatively minor track, officials recently announced purses would be increased by 6.5 percent through the end of its live Thoroughbred meet on March 12. In addition to being excellent news for the horse owners that help put on the show, it’s also a good sign for fans. The bump in purse money is the result of a 23 percent increase in total handle on Sam Houston races as compared to 2011.

“We are very excited about the early success of our meet,” said Eric Johnston, vice president of racing at Sam Houston. To know more about horse racing games online and related information log on to

Several of New York’s marquee Stakes races will have their purses restored to previous levels in 2012. This year track officials expect that number to approach $200,000.

In Florida, business has been so strong at Gulfstream Park that officials announced this week purses will be increased by 15 percent for the remainder of the meet, which runs through April 8. Gulfstream Park President Timothy Ritvo attributed the purse increases to an improvement in both on- and off-track handle for Gulfstream Park races.


After several years of declines, it appears horse racing may finally be getting back on the right track.

An ardent fan of horse racing for years, I am extremely passionate about writing articles on adventurous topics on the lines of new developments in sports, online games as well as other fields. The most notable of those is the historic Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, which will be run for $750,000 this year after having a purse of just $250,000 in 2011.

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When “The Great Recession” hit the United States economy in 2008, horse racing certainly was not immune. As Americans tightened their entertainment budgets, wagering on horse races plummeted. You can find articles regarding Horse racing industries and interesting facts about the understanding of Gulfstream Park

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