03/17/2014 1:35PM

New York-bred stakes program enhanced

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With an emphasis on 2-year-olds and the first New York-bred Showcase Day at Saratoga, the stakes program for horses bred in New York has received significant purse enhancements for 2014, according to a release Monday from the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.

Between the three New York Racing Association tracks – Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga – as well as Finger Lakes, a total of 69 New York-bred stakes worth $8.6 million will be run this year. The purses for New York-bred stakes run at NYRA tracks have been increased by $485,000 over 2013.

NYRA tracks will host 54 New York-bred stakes worth $7,475,000, while Finger Lakes will conduct 15 New York-bred stakes worth $1,125,000. With these increases in place, there will not be a Big Apple Triple bonus offered this year if a horse sweeps the Mike Lee, New York Derby, and Albany, a trio of races restricted to New York-bred 3-year-olds.

The New York Showcase Day program at Saratoga will be run Sunday, Aug. 24, the day after the Travers Stakes. There will be six stakes offered that day totaling $1.15 million in purse money, topped by the $250,000 Albany for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Fleet Indian for 3-year-old fillies. The West Point and Yaddo, $150,000 turf stakes for males and females, respectively, and a pair of $200,000 stakes for 2-year-olds, the Funny Cide for males and the Seeking the Ante for females, each will be run that day. NYRA said it expects that some open-company races will be run on the Aug. 24 card.

The Aug. 24 card will be added to the two New York Showcase programs run at Belmont Park. The first one May 31 offers six stakes worth $900,000, while the Oct. 18 program will offer eight stakes worth $1.725 million, topped by the $300,000 Empire Classic and the inaugural running of the $250,000 Empire Distaff Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

There are five new races for 2-year-olds in 2014 to be hosted by NYRA, which has increased stakes purses for New York-bred 2-year-olds on its circuit by $1,050,000. There are now 19 stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds run in the state, with purses totaling $2.65 million.

“This is the first step in what will likely be a multiyear process,” Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, said in a press release. “This year, we focused on the races for 2-year-olds, which seemed like a logical place to start. In coming years, we hope to roll out similarly structured programs for 3-year-olds and for older horses of both sexes.”

Jeffrey Cannizzo, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., praised Panza and NYRA for enhancing the 2-year-old stakes program.

“More races and bigger purses will add to commercial appeal of New York-breds in the eyes of pinhookers and end users alike,” Cannizzo said. “Every breeder with a yearling for sale stands to benefit.”

Bill Duncliffe More than 1 year ago
Have to disagree, Mikey. I don't know if all of their moves will work but at least they are trying new things. I would prefer the Met Mile stay on Memorial Day but the Belmont Stakes Day card could rival a Breeders Cup card. Enhancing a stakes program, even if it is for state breds...what's wrong with that? I already like the fact that those obscure starter allowance/optional claiming races are gone. Those were brutal.
mikey More than 1 year ago
2or 3 day's a year is not what belmont is all about.I hope they do not end up with 5 or 6 horse fields.You will have fill ins just tring to grab a piece.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
The actual reason the Met Mile was moved to Belmont Day I believe had to do with the re-emergence of Pimlico. While the Pimlico Special is only a Grade 3, there are owners who would be more likely to run their horses either on that or Belmont Stakes Day and that likely was why the change. That said, what I would look at doing with the Met Mile is to move that and the True North to Wood Memorial Day in April (and the Carter from Wood Memorial to Belmont Stakes Day), with the Met Mile the first leg of a four-race "Handicap Grand Slam" that would be followed by the Charles Town Classic at Charles Town (with that race pushed back one week to the Saturday of the week before the Kentucky Derby), Pimlico Special and concluding back at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day with the Brooklyn Handicap at 1 1/2 Miles. Each race could be worth at least $1 Million and be made into a four-race series (each race separated by three weeks) the more casual sports viewer can watch while applying the principles of the hold Handicap Triple Crown: Win at increasing distances and increasing weights.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Nooooooo body cares.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
You only cared to comment because it was a free article, c'mon, admit it;-)
mikey More than 1 year ago
Don't tell me you pay for those cream puff stories.I think you are smarter than that.Yes i did i will not pay to voice my thought's