02/03/2005 12:00AM

Breeders' Cup supplements rise


The Breeders' Cup will distribute $7.305 million in purse supplements through its stakes program this year, up $205,000, or 2.8 percent over the figure last year, the organization announced Thursday. The supplements will go to 125 stakes races in the United States and Canada, including 69 graded stakes races.

Horses who are nominated to the Breeders' Cup are eligible for the supplements, which range from $25,000 to $100,000 per race. The program is designed to make more horses eligible to win money provided by nomination fees to the organization, which administers the eight races of the one-day Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Those eight races collectively award $14 million in purses and breeders' awards.

Earlier this year, the Breeders' Cup board passed a rule requiring all Grade 1 races that receive supplements to be run under weight-for-age conditions, rather than handicaps, effective July 1 of this year. Breeders' Cup officials said the money could go to other stakes races at a track if the track wished to retain the handicap conditions.

The Breeders' Cup released a calendar of stakes races that will receive supplements through June 30 of this year, and said in its announcement that the Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park would no longer receive a purse supplement. Instead, the supplement will go toward the Sunset Breeders' Cup Stakes at Hollywood.

Breeders' Cup officials did not return phone calls on Thursday. The schedule for the rest of the year was likely not announced in order to give racing secretaries more time to make their decision on whether or not to change the affected races' conditions.

Several of the six races that are impacted by the decision on handicap races are run before July 1, including the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Gamely at Hollywood Park. Both will be run as handicaps this year.

Fifteen races will receive Breeders' Cup supplements for the first time, the Breeders' Cup announced, including the Grade 2 Sunset; the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs; and the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park.