Updated on 09/16/2011 8:44AM

New York-bred races again left out of purse raise


During Saratoga's six-week meet - July 24 through Sept. 2 - purses for New York-bred allowance and maiden races will be $4,000 less than open races, and some New York breeders are unhappy about that.

Open allowance and maiden races received a $2,000 purse boost with the start of Belmont Park's spring/summer meet in May, while New York-bred purses remained the same. The latest $2,000 purse increase for open races at Saratoga was announced by the New York Racing Association late last month.

For example, Saratoga purses for restricted maiden races will be $41,000 for sprints and $42,000 for routes, compared with $45,000 and $46,000 for open maiden races.

With the start of Belmont's fall meet on Sept. 6, NYRA officials said purses will revert to the levels at the current Belmont meet, where restricted races are $2,000 less than open races.

Barry Schwartz, NYRA's chairman, said not raising the purses of New York-bred races, while upping open races, is not intended as a slight against New York's breeding program.

Schwartz, one of the state's most active breeders, is the owner of the 700-acre Stonewall Farm in Granite Springs, N.Y. Schwartz also owns New York stallions David and Gold Token.

"I believe the caliber of horses racing in open company at Saratoga are somewhat better than New York-breds and we need to differentiate the money," Schwartz said. "If we didn't like New York-breds we could have created a rift by going back to $35,000 [restricted] maiden races and $50,000 open races.

"I just believe that a horse that wins a maiden race at Saratoga is entitled to more money than a horse that wins at Aqueduct in January," Schwartz added.

The news of the $4,000 differential has upset some New York breeders and has left them wondering if the disparity in purses will continue to grow.

Suzie O'Cain, a breeder who along with her husband, C. Lynwood O'Cain, manages Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y., said a two-tiered system doesn't fit with the image of New York's breeding program, which over the past several years has grown in both quantity and quality.

"It's not sending the right message in a growing equine economy," Suzie O'Cain said.

Jerry Nielsen, the president of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., which represents 600-plus members, said he believes NYRA understands the concerns of the state's breeders.

"Needless to say we are not happy about it," Nielsen said. "It's taken an awful lot of work over the years to bring everyone [in New York's racing and breeding industry] together. We are all looking for the same things and I'm confident we can resolve our differences."

A dozen at Fasig-Tipton

Twelve New York-breds are part of Fasig-Tipton's two-day sale of selected yearlings in Kentucky on July 17 and 18.

Among the New York-bred contingent is a colt (Hip No. 129), from freshman sire Distorted Humor's second crop, whose third dam produced the dam of Behrens, an earner of more than $3.2 million.

The second dam of a Wild Rush colt (Hip No. 150) produced the dam of multiple stakes winner City Zip.

Hip No. 312, a Hennessy colt, is related on his dam's side to Scottish Halo, a New York-bred who has earned more than $400,000.

A colt by Conquistador Cielo (Hip No. 534) is a half-brother to Mellow Roll, a New York-bred champion and earner of $555,772.

Hip No. 327, a Mt. Livermore filly, is a half to Sweet Baby James, a stakes winner with $363,860 in earnings.

Triple threat

The hopes for a Big Apple Triple winner ride on No Parole, who won the first leg of the series, the Mike Lee, at Belmont last weekend.

No Parole, a son of Lit de Justice, was bred by Dr. William F. Coyro Jr. and is owned by Thomas Mina.

Joe Aquilino, No Parole's trainer, said the colt will run in the Big Apple Triple's second event, the $125,000 New York Derby, at Finger Lakes on July 27.

If No Parole wins the New York Derby, Mina stands to win a $250,000 bonus if his horse can sweep the series by capturing the final leg, the $150,000 Albany at Saratoga on Aug. 21.