Updated on 09/17/2011 12:09PM

Maryland cuts purses

Email

The Maryland Jockey Club has cut purses in its first condition book for 2004 by approximately 4 percent, citing financial difficulties brought on by declining revenue.

The purse cuts were $1,000 in each race with a total purse over $15,000, and $500 for any race with a total purse lower than $15,000, according to Lou Raffetto, the chief operating officer of the MJC. Raffetto said the cuts were "hardly noticeable."

Unusually wet weather, declining handle on the Maryland product, and the failure of the MJC to get slots legislation passed this year added up to trying times in the state for the MJC's two racetracks, Pimlico and Laurel. Raffetto said that the MJC is hopeful that slots legislation will pass in 2004, enabling the association to restore the purse cuts.

"Right now, I don't think it's that big of a deal," Raffetto said. "But if we don't get slots next year, certainly it becomes an issue. We can't pay the same level that we have been paying."