06/11/2008 12:00AM

Rider fee hiked at Philly Park


The board of directors of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has approved a measure that will raise the mount fee to $100 for Philadelphia Park jockeys who ride horses who do not finish in the top three finishing positions, according to representatives of horsemen and riders.

The board approved the new mount fee on Wednesday.

Philadelphia jockeys who rode horses who finished fourth or worse had previously been paid on a scale that started at $55 and ended at $80, according to the purse of the race.

For mounts that finish in the top three placings, jockeys will continue to earn 10 percent of the winning purse or 5 percent of the purse for second and third, with the exception of races that have a total purse of under $20,000. In that case, riders who finish third will receive the $100 losing mount fee, because 5 percent of the third-place purse share is lower than $100.

Tony Black, the rider who led negotiations on behalf of jockeys, said that horsemen had agreed to the new mount fee because of the sizeable increase in purses at Philadelphia Park since the track installed slot machines in December 2006.

"It is a substantial increase, but with the addition of slots and the big purses here, it's not something the owners won't be able to afford," Black said. "This is to help the little guy, the less-successful jockeys who aren't riding a lot of high-profile horses."