08/15/2008 12:00AM

Meadowlands Cup purse trimmed


The Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup has had its purse reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 and the Grade 3 Pegasus from $250,000 to $200,000 for the meet at the Meadowlands Racetrack that starts Sept. 30.

The Meadowlands Cup took a double hit. It lost $100,000 due to reductions in the Breeders' Cup Stakes program. The Cup and the Pegasus each lost $50,000 in stakes money that was reallocated to Monmouth's Salvator Mile.

The Salvator purse was doubled this year to $300,000 as it became a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In stakes for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

The Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 3 is the main event on opening weekend of the 41-day meet, which runs through Nov. 15.

"We have again positioned the Meadowlands Cup early in the meet as a potential Breeders' Cup prep," said racing secretary Mike Dempsey.

The scheduling is similar to recent years, with the exception of 2007 when the Meadowlands ran an extended meet to accommodate Breeders' Cup preparations at Monmouth.

The Meadowlands Cup is one of four graded stakes on the schedule. The Pegasus for 3-year-olds is set for Oct. 24. The other two graded events are Grade 3 grass races: the Cliff Hanger on Oct. 10 and the Violet for fillies and mares on Oct. 17.

Overall, the Meadowlands will offer 16 stakes worth a combined $1.5 million.