11/27/2003 12:00AM

Grade 1's get richer


Santa Anita has raised the purses of five Grade 1 stakes, cut the purses of two historic races by $100,000 each, and dropped three stakes from the schedule of the upcoming Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which runs from Dec. 26 to April 18.

The purses of the Malibu Stakes, La Brea Stakes, Santa Monica Handicap, Las Virgenes Stakes, and Santa Maria Handicap have been raised from $200,000 to $250,000 to remain in compliance with minimum purses for Grade 1 stakes set by the American Graded Stakes committee.

To finance the increases, the purses of the 56-year-old Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds, and the 64-year-old San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles on turf have been cut from $400,000 to $300,000.

Three stakes have not been renewed - the Survive Stakes, a sprint on dirt for California-bred fillies and mares; the Boo la Boo Stakes, a sprint on dirt for California-bred 3-year-old fillies; and the San Marino Stakes, a restricted race over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

There are two $1 million races at the meeting - the Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds on Jan. 24 and the historic Santa Anita Handicap on March 6.