01/14/2004 12:00AM

State aids Portland purse account

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In a move that will enable Portland Meadows to balance its purse account, the track was allocated up to $183,000 - the amount purses were overpaid as of Jan. 1 - from the Oregon Racing Commission on Wednesday.

The money, to be granted when the Portland Meadows meet ends in April, will come from revenue the commission derives from interstate account-wagering hubs located in the state. This is the first year that the track will receive funding from that revenue.

With $1,158,000 in hub funds expected to be available by Sept. 30, the commission allocated all but $2,888 of it Wednesday.

As usual, the biggest recipients were Oregon's five fair meetings. The commission allocated $2,000 per race, or $538,000, for purses at the fairs. It also dedicated $67,043 for improved video and photo-finish equipment at the fair meets, and it increased the jockey incentive fund, which provides performance-based bonuses to jockeys who ride at the fairs, by $10,000 to $35,000.