05/09/2009 11:00PM

Lone Star cuts purses, cancels Alysheba Stakes

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Lone Star Park near Dallas announced on Sunday that overnight purses would be cut 6 percent beginning May 22 due to a "downward trend" in handle figures at the meet that runs through July 26. The move will put purses, which are averaging $179,000 a day, at $169,000 a day, according to Drew Shubeck, president of Lone Star.

Lone Star has also canceled the $50,000 Alysheba Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile June 27, and reduced the purses of three $100,000 stakes, the Assault, Silver Spur, and Middleground, to $75,000 each. The Assault is for Texas-breds, while the Silver Spur and Middleground are staples for 2-year-olds on closing weekend at Lone Star.

"We are extremely disappointed, but like all other tracks in North America, we are experiencing a downward trend in handle across the board that requires us to make these cuts," Shubeck said. "Unfortunately, the continued soft local and national economy makes this necessary."

Shubeck said handle on Lone Star's races ontrack is down 10 percent from the corresponding dates in 2008, while betting on the track's signal offsite has been off 8 percent. Attendance this meet has been down 6 percent.