09/22/2010 3:13PM

NYRA raising Belmont purses

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Beginning with Saturday’s card, the New York Racing Association has increased purses by 13 percent for the remainder of the Belmont Park fall meeting. The meet, which opened Sept. 11, runs through Oct. 31.

Purses for route races will increase by $5,000 to $10,000 depending on category. New York-bred maiden special weight routes will go from $39,000 to $44,000; starter allowance route races will go up to $47,000 from $42,000; open maiden special weight races will go up to $52,000 from $46,000; open money-allowance routes will be worth $63,000, up from $56,000. Overnight stakes races, many of which have failed to fill at this meet, will go up to $70,000 from $60,000.

According to a press release, NYRA was able to increase purses because of higher-than-projected wagering activity at Saratoga and a purse underpayment of $500,000 at that meet instead of the projected $2.5 million overpayment.

“It’s obviously terrific – 13 percent is 13 percent,” said trainer Rick Violette, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “I’m not sure we’ve read where purses have gone up anywhere else in the country. It’s good to see adjustments can be made mid-meet instead of waiting for the start of a new meet.”