01/15/2010 12:00AM

Lone Star cuts purses for three graded stakes


Lone Star Park near Dallas has made significant purse reductions to three of its four graded races as part of a pared-down that was released Friday.

The Grade 3 Lone Star Derby on May 8 took the biggest hit, with its purse reduced from $400,000 to $200,000. Purse reductions also were made to the Grade 3 Texas Mile, which has been trimmed from $300,000 to $200,000, and the Grade 3 Lone Star Handicap, which goes from $400,000 to $300,000.

The Dallas Turf Cup, which lost its Grade 3 status, has been cut in distance from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/16 miles. The race s purse was trimmed from $200,000 to $150,000.

Lone Star will race 60 days, with the meet opening April 8 and running through July 18.

With the cooperation of the horsemen and breeders, we ve made adjustments to the stakes schedule in order to preserve our overnight purse levels and ensure that we maintain the quality of our day-to-day racing product, said Drew Shubeck, president and general manager of Lone Star.

The Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff is the lone graded stakes that escaped a purse cut. It will be run as part of the 12th annual Million Day program on May 31, when seven stakes worth $1 million will be decided.

In all, Lone Star will offer 21 stakes worth more than $2.2 million. Last year, after canceling six stakes, Lone Star ran 25 stakes worth $3 million.

Global Gaming has an agreement to purchase Lone Star from its current owner, Magna Entertainment Corp., and is awaiting licensing from the Texas Racing Commission. Because of the length of the licensing process, which includes procedural background checks, the Lone Star meet is expected to open under Magna, which filed for bankruptcy last March.