09/18/2012 11:20AM

Del Mar to distribute 10 percent retroactive purse payment


Del Mar on Tuesday announced that owners, trainers, and jockeys will receive an extra 10 percent payment on top of the already record-breaking purse figures that were paid out during the recently concluded meeting, the result of a significant increase in handle.

The payout, totaling $1,466,532, was approved last Friday following a meeting with the Thoroughbred Owners of California. The meet ended on Sept. 5.

The bonus brings the average daily purse payment to a record $687,000 per day for the 37-day meeting, an increase of 9.6 percent from last year’s $626,951, which was a record.

“For all the owners who had horses that won overnight purse money during Del Mar’s record-breaking season, we are extremely pleased to announce such a large retroactive payment to those individuals and stables,” Lou Raffetto Jr., the president of the TOC, said in a statement. “This is just another indication of how successful the recently concluded season at Del Mar was.”

Mike Ernst, Del Mar’s executive vice president for finance and chief financial officer, said, “Good racing is good business,” a slogan championed by Daily Racing Form’s late executive columnist Joe Hirsch.

“We had terrific cooperation from our horsemen this summer and it translated into big fields and competitive, entertaining racing,” Ernst said. “That naturally translates into larger purses for the people who put on the show, and this retro payment underscores that reality.”

According to Ernst, the additional payment will be tacked on to all 2012 overnight purse earnings. Del Mar will issue the retroactive checks toward the end of October, Ernst said.

Del Mar’s ontrack handle this past meet was up 13.3 percent, its advance deposit wagering was up 15 percent, and handle from all sources was up 6.6 percent, to a daily average of $12,392,429.