03/02/2011 1:29PM

Gulfstream raising purses


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Gulfstream Park is raising purses by 10 percent effective with Saturday’s program. In addition, Gulfstream will pay $1,000 to every starter in every race other than stakes races on the April 3 Florida Derby day program.

“We started the year with purses increased 15 percent over last winter and now have added an additional 10 per cent,” said Gulfstream Park’s vice president of racing, Tim Ritvo. “So the new increase now puts us up 25 percent for the year.”

Ritvo said that over the first 42 racing dates, ontrack handle is up 15 percent over the corresponding days in 2010, with overall handle up 5 percent. He said Saturday’s Fountain of Youth day handle was up 13 percent ontrack and 12.5 percent overall, over $17 million, as compared with the 2010 Fountain of Youth program.

Ritvo cited several factors for the increase in business, including the popularity of the new fifty-cent pick five and ten-cent Rainbow 6 wagers.