02/18/2008 12:00AM

Eight stakes get six-figure boost


Eight stakes that received a purse boost of at least $100,000 and the return of the Greenwood Cup after a two-year absence helped push Philadelphia Park's stakes purses to a record $5.475 million for 2008.

The purse structure for 31 stakes, released Monday, represents a 27 percent increase from 2007.

The Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion got a $250,000 increase, making it worth $750,000. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, positioned five weeks before this year's Breeders' Cup, will no longer be run as a handicap.

The track's only other graded race is the meet's premier event, the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, which retains its status as a $1 million race on Labor Day.

The Greenwood Cup, a 1 1/2-mile turf race last run in 2004 with a purse of $100,000, is back on the schedule and now worth $250,000.

Seven races were given purse raises of $100,000 apiece - the Jostle, Don Levine Memorial, Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap, Turf Monster Handicap, PTHA President's Cup, Gallant Bob Handicap, and the Turf Amazon Handicap. All are now worth between $200,000 and $250,000 apiece.

Pennsylvania's Day at the Races, formerly run in late July, has been moved to Aug. 23 to coincide with the Travers at Saratoga.