07/27/2010 12:24PM

River Downs halves purses for Cradle, Bassinet

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Officials at River Downs have slashed purses in half for the Cradle and Bassinet stakes, the annual showcase events at the Cincinnati track.

The Sept. 6 Cradle will go from $200,000 to $100,000 and the Sept. 4 Bassinet from $100,000 to $50,000, according to the track’s general manager, Jack Hanessian.

“It is a regrettable move, but one we needed to make to protect the integrity of our daily purses for the local horsemen,” he said in a release.

The Cradle, for 2-year-old colts and geldings, has been the River signature race since Spend a Buck won the 1984 running some eight months before capturing the Kentucky Derby the following spring. The Bassinet is for 2-year-old fillies.

The River announcement came several weeks after officials at neighboring Turfway Park in northern Kentucky said they have scrapped their premier fall event, the Kentucky Cup series. Only one stakes will be run at the 16-day Turfway meet that starts shortly after River closes with the Cradle.