02/06/2015 12:47PM

Track raises overnight purses, adds extra Sunday race

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Coady Photgraphy
The Great War wins the 96Rock Stakes at Turfway Park.

Turfway Park has raised overnight purses for its winter-spring meet by $500 per race and by adding a race Sundays, reflecting an approximate 10 percent increase to its non-stakes purses. The increase, which began Jan. 30, came in response to higher-than-forecast handle generated by full fields, general manager Chip Bach said.

Turfway has averaged 9.13 starters per race in 2015, compared to 8.46 over the same timeframe last year, in part the result of decreased regional competition for horses and a change in rules for Kentucky-bred horses that allows claiming horses to run for statebred purse incentives in optional-claiming and allowance races.

The stakes program at Turfway this winter also has garnered more attention than in years past, highlighted by the Kentucky Derby prospect The Great War winning the 96Rock Stakes there last week.

Next Saturday, Turfway runs the $75,000 Cincinnati Trophy for 3-year-old fillies, a race that drew nominations from such prominent trainers as Wesley Ward, Wayne Catalano, Mike Maker, Joe Sharp, and Tom Amoss.

The Cincinnati Trophy serves as a prep race for the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbonette Stakes on March 21, the supporting feature to the Grade 3, $550,000 Spiral that same afternoon.