11/21/2013 9:38AM

Churchill Downs trims stakes purses, races


Churchill Downs officials in Louisville, Ky., have announced they are adjusting for slumping handle at its current 25-day fall meet by reducing the purses on two graded races and cutting overnight races from its original schedule.

The purses for the Grade 2 Golden Rod and Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, both to be run closing day, Nov. 30, have been lowered by $25,000 apiece, from $175,000 to $150,000. In addition, the programs for Nov. 24 and 27 are being cut back by one race, from 10 races to nine. Churchill already cut one race from the Nov. 16 and 22 programs prior to the announcement.

In a media release late Wednesday, officials attributed the reduction to Churchill engaging “ongoing competitive challenges that include gaming-enhanced purses at other racetracks and continued growth of casino competition in its home region.”

Tracks owned by Churchill Downs Inc. do not release business figures except for special days.

This latest purse reduction continues a downward trend in recent years. Purses at this meet already were down substantially from customary levels. As an example, maiden special weight races that for years had been worth at least $50,000 are now worth $43,000, and that includes bonuses paid only to horses eligible to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

Sid Moore More than 1 year ago
I used to make the four and a half hour drive from my home in Tennessee to Churchill every other week but I haven't been in several years. Two reasons, after they remodeled a few years ago, the box seats that used to cost me $12 went up to $52 and every time I came back from betting I had to ask someone to leave my seats. Second and most important to me was when Churchill sold Hollywood Park to Land Developers which shows how little they care about racing or us fans. Just the bottom line
Bob More than 1 year ago
I can see why.....the racing at CD is AWFUL!*****with the possible exception of the occasional Breeders Cup that is held there I would pay 50 cents to watch one race at the track, INCLUDING the Kentucky Derby, which is the most over-rated race in America!