The 2019-20 Starter Loyalty Program will begin April 1 and run through March 2020. The program’s renewal comes on the success of the 2018-19 campaign, rewarding owners and trainers of horses who make at least five starts on the NYRA circuit in a 12-month period.
Under the program, horses can continue to earn Silver- through Diamond-level purse bonuses between 5% and 15% on money earned in a qualifying race, based on their number of starts at NYRA tracks.
Awards will continued to be offered in all winners’ races and will be paid out on each first- through fifth-place finish.
“I was very pleased with the program and I think the horsemen in general, and their owners, were very happy with it,” trainer Linda Rice said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction for New York racing. They are making it more lucrative for horsemen and their clients to stay and race in New York.”
For the period of March 22-24, 10 different trainers saddled winners who earned a collective bonus of $18,464.
The successful conditioners during the program’s penultimate week for the winter meet were Rob Atras, who trains Silver member Malibu Action; Gregory DiPrima, the trainer of Platinum member Shamcat; Rice, who trains Silver member Eagle Pass; George Weaver, who saw Silver member Thunder’s Honor earn the win; and David Cannizzo, whose Silver member Short Kakes won Friday’s eighth race.
The four winners from Saturday were trained by Robert Barbara (Gold member Borsa Vento); Dermot Magner (Silver member Claire’s Kitty); A.C. Avila (Diamond member Too Fast to Pass); and Chris Englehart (Diamond member Wushu Warrior). Kiaran McLaughlin’s Gold member Takecharge Mirella was Sunday’s only Starter Loyalty Program winner.
For more information on the Starter Loyalty Program, which was implemented on April 2, 2018, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/horsemen/2018-19-starter-loyalty-program.
From the period between April 2, 2018 through April 1, 2019, NYRA 2018-19 Loyalty Program, at a glance:
- NYRA Silver: Starts 5 and 6—Runners will compete for 5% more purse money
- NYRA Gold: Starts 7, 8, and 9—Runners will compete for 7.5% more purse money
- NYRA Platinum: Starts 10 and 11—Runners will compete for 12.5% more purse money
- NYRA Diamond: Starts 12 and higher—Runners will compete for 15% more purse money
The number of starts transfer with horses that are claimed or have undergone ownership changes.
Qualifying starts for bonus money include any winners’ races. Maiden races do not award purse bonuses but are counted as starts. For example, if a horse breaks his maiden on his fifth start of the season, his sixth start will be in a winners’ race and therefore he would be considered a Silver member.
Races not counted as a qualifying start include any race in which a horse is beaten by 25 lengths or more, or any race in which a horse is placed on the vet’s list for lameness or unsoundness. The horse must be declared an official starter to be credited for the start. Only two starts in a 30-day period are counted toward the program. The third start during that period of time is not eligible for program participation. Additionally, award money is not paid on breeders’ purse supplements.