03/01/2012 12:12PM

New York Racing Association to offer 2-year-old stakes bonus

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In another attempt to stimulate activity in its 2-year-old program at Belmont Park, the New York Racing Association announced it will award a $100,000 bonus to the connections of a 2-year-old that wins a maiden race at the Belmont spring/summer meet and goes on to win a graded stakes at Saratoga, Belmont, or Aqueduct in 2012.

The bonus, which will only be paid out once per horse, will be written into the conditions of all NYRA graded juvenile stakes and will therefore count towards the official graded stakes earnings, something that can help determine eligibility for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

“The graded stakes bonus that NYRA is offering, along with the enhanced purse structure, underlines that New York is the place for horsemen to run their 2-year-olds,” said trainer Rick Violette, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

On Wednesday, NYRA announced that maiden sprint races would be worth $70,000 at Belmont Park and $80,000 at Saratoga.

Last year, NYRA tried to stimulate 2-year-old activity by offering $60,000 purses for maiden races and moving the Matron and Futurity – both graded events – from the fall to the spring. However, there was no noticeable increase in 2-year-old races carded at last year’s Belmont meet and the Matron and Futurity have been moved back to the fall this year.