05/31/2001 11:00PM

Hollywood cuts purses 7%


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Hollywood Park on Friday announced a 7 percent cut in overnight purses effective Wednesday, the second time in three years that a reduction has occurred in the middle of the spring-summer meeting.

In addition, six stakes scheduled from mid-June to the end of the meeting on July 16 were cut by $50,000.

Track officials cited a drop in handle figures from last year as the reason for the cut. Through Thursday, the ontrack average handle was $2,056,489, a 6 percent drop from last year. Including nationwide and statewide handle sources, the overall average was $10,100,215, a loss of 2 percent compared with last year.

The stakes cuts affect several categories of horses. The Princess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on June 16 and the Affirmed Handicap for 3-year-olds the following day have been cut to $100,000.

The purses of two Grade 1 stakes have been reduced. The Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap for fillies and mares on turf on July 24 was cut to $200,000, while the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap for fillies and mares on dirt on June 30 was slashed to $250,000.

In July, the Bel Air Handicap for older horses on dirt will have a purse of $100,000, while the Sunset Handicap for older horses on turf will be worth $200,000.