02/13/2010 1:00AM

Golden Gate cuts purses, cancels stakes


ALBANY, Calif. - Golden Gate Fields announced Friday that due to declining handle it would cancel the Grade 3 Golden Gate Fields Turf and two other stakes and will reduce purses by an average of 7.5 percent when racing resumes next Thursday.

Two $50,000 turf sprint stakes, the Soviet Problem for fillies and mares May 22 and the Oriental Magic for older runners June 5, were canceled in addition to the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf that was scheduled for May 29. In addition to the cancellations, two turf stakes, the April 17 Golden Poppy for 3-year-old fillies and the May 15 Alcatraz for 3-year-olds, will have their purses cut from $75,000 to $60,000.

Next Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 El Camino Real Derby; the Grade 2, $150,000 San Francisco Mile on April 24; and the Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap on May 31 are not affected by the cuts.

Racing secretary Sean Greely said bottom-level maiden $8,000 claimers, races that attract a large number of runners, will not have their purses cut.

"In an effort to help the small stables in these tough economic times, we've managed to keep the purses for the bottom level races the same," said Greely.