12/01/2003 1:00AM

Hollywood reduces purses


Hollywood Park is cutting purses by 8 percent at its current autumn meeting, the track announced Monday, making it the second consecutive meeting at which purses were cut in Southern California.

Oak Tree at Santa Anita had a similar purse cut during its recently concluded meeting, which included the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Hollywood Park will not be making any purse cuts from its remaining graded stakes, according to Martin Panza, the track's racing secretary. Only overnight races are affected. That is in contrast to Oak Tree, which, in a controversial decision, canceled the Las Palmas Handicap, a Grade 2 turf race for older fillies and mares.

The purse cut was done in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Owners of California. The cut goes into effect with Thursday's program, the 17th day of a 30-day meeting.

"We started the season with a significant overpayment from the 2002 meeting," Rick Baedeker, the president of Hollywood Park, said in a press release. "While we adjusted purses accordingly, we were a bit too conservative."