05/25/2012 2:43PM

Churchill Downs to increase purses


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs will boost overnuight purses by 10 percent, effective Monday, officials at the track announced Friday.

The increase is attributable to higher-than-expected all-sources wagering on Kentucky Derby weekend, when a total of $226.9 million was bet on Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days, May 4-5. That total was up nearly 12 percent from 2011.

The increase means purses for the 39-day meet, which ends July 1, will total about $13.5 million, up about $500,000 from original projections. Each overnight race will be increased an average of $3,400. Only stakes will not be affected.