06/01/2010 8:31AM

A Day in the Life


Apropos of Opening Day at the Monmouth Park mega-purse meeting, here's a snapshot of the prize money available at the 33 U.S. tracks offering thoroughbred and/or quarterhorse racing today:

No one-day snapshot is going to be entirely fair, but at least today there are no huge events or Grade 1 races to skew the totals. A few notes:

*I broke down the data by both all-races and non-stakes races because of the obvious distorting effect that a stakes-rich card can have on the totals. Louisiana Downs, for example, is presenting eight stakes races worth a combined $600,000 today, and two-thirds of Arlington's $480k in purses today comes from the $200k American Guineas and the $100k Arlington Classic. Neither track would be in the top five on a typical Saturday.

*Monmouth is offering only 4.1 percent of today's races but 12.1 percent of the total prize money. That gap will be even wider on some Fridays and Sundays when Monmouth will be offering around $1 million in purses.

*Stakes races account for 9.1 percent of today's races but 30.2 percent of the total prize money. These totals are probably understated today, a somewhat unusual Saturday in that the richest race in the country is "only" $200k.