03/07/2011 1:22PM

Assiniboia Downs cuts stakes purses at upcoming meet


Assiniboia Downs will be cutting purses for most of its stakes races over the course of the 60-day meeting that runs from May 8 through Sept. 25.

The Manitoba Derby, the marquee event at the Winnipeg, Manitoba, racetrack, will be worth $50,000, down $25,000 from last year, and 25 stakes worth $30,000 now will go for $25,000.

“We made the stakes purses adjustments to address some reductions in revenues that we are experiencing,” said Darren Dunn, chief executive officer at Assiniboia. “The overnight purses were not reduced.”

Assiniboia Downs, which opened its backstretch March 1, will offer a total of 28 stakes worth a cumulative $945,000.

The Gold Cup, the track’s top race for older horses, and the Matron, its filly and mare counterpart, both will offer $50,000-guaranteed purses. Those races each were worth a potential $72,500 last year with funding from a Breeders’ Cup program that has been discontinued.

Other races worth $50,000 include the Assiniboia Oaks, which will be run on the Aug. 1 card headed by the Manitoa Derby, and the Winnipeg Futurity.

The North Dakota Derby and the North Dakota Futurity, both worth $10,000 last year and funded by the North Dakota Thoroughbred Association, have not been renewed.