01/28/2002 12:00AM

Louisiana Downs raising purses


Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., will distribute a record $200,000 a day in purses during its summer Thoroughbred meet that begins June 28, a 40 percent increase over last season.

The elevated purse structure will be in effect through Sept. 22. For the track's fall season, which runs from Sept. 26 to Nov. 10, daily purses will average $100,000.

An agreement is in place to sell Louisiana Downs to a group of investors headed by Shreveport, La., attorney Jim Davis. The track, which received approval for slot machines last year, is in the process of constructing a casino.

Pat Pope, the track's director of racing, said the higher summer purses are in anticipation of slot machines. It is hoped they will help "build a strong circuit between Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas," he said. The track's stakes schedule is not due out for at least two more weeks.