06/24/2016 1:34PM

Del Mar slices overnight purses


Del Mar will start its summer meeting July 15 with an across-the-board decline in overnight purses of about 10 percent.

The 39-day season begins with a purse overpayment of more than $1 million from previous meetings. An overpayment occurs when handle figures fail to keep pace with expectations, resulting in lower revenue for purses.

Earlier this week, the track published the condition book detailing races likely to be run in the first few weeks. No category escaped a cut in purses. Maiden special weight races for 2-year-old California-bred fillies have been reduced to $63,000 from $70,000 in 2015. A $20,000 claiming race for sprinters worth $36,000 last year has a purse of $31,000 this year. A $20,000 claiming race for maiden fillies and mares in a sprint will be worth $21,000, a $2,000 decline.

“It’s about 10 percent, but there is some rounding,” Del Mar executive vice president of racing Tom Robbins said of the decline.

Robbins said the track is hoping to erase some of the debt at the summer meeting, which runs through Sept. 5.

“It’s a multiyear plan,” he said. “We’re not looking like we’ll regain it in 39 days.”