OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association announced a purse increase for the Aqueduct winter meet that begins Dec. 7.
Open maiden races will be worth $68,000, a $5,000 increase from last winter. New York-bred maiden races will be worth $60,000, an increase of $5,000 from last winter.
Open allowance races will have their purses increased by $3,000 to $7,000 compared with last year, depending on the condition of the race.
The purse for a first-level New York-bred allowance race will be $64,000, a $7,000 increase from a year ago while a statebred, second-level allowance/optional $40,000 claiming race will be worth $67,000, an $8,000 increase from last winter.
There are $1,000 to $2,000 purse increases in the claiming ranks as well.
“These purse increases represent our continued commitment to maintaining quality racing in New York on a year-round basis,” Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations said in a press release announcing the purse increases. “The purse money offered at Aqueduct is competitive with, if not stronger than, amounts offered for top-flight racing across the country. We value and appreciate our local horsemen that continue to support our live racing product into the new year.”
With these purse increases, plus existing programs such as a $300 guarantee to horses who finish fourth through last and a starter loyalty program that allows horses to run for more money based on number of starts, NYRA is hoping to bolster field size as it gets ready for the difficult task of filling all dirt-race cards this winter.