07/14/2004 11:00PM

Woodbine cuts daily purses

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The Woodbine Entertainment Group, citing declining business in its wagering and slot machine operations, has announced an average decrease in purses of 5 percent at Woodbine beginning Wednesday, July 28.

All races except the regularly scheduled stakes program will be affected, with the decrease for the majority of races set at 3 percent.

Maiden claiming, conditioned claiming, and the optional claiming maiden and conditioned races will take a 10 percent hit.

"A lot of tracks offer a different scale between the open claiming and conditioned claiming races," said Chris Evans, Woodbine's director of racing, of the difference in purse cuts between the two types of races.

Nick Coukos, secretary treasurer of the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said his group did not object on principle to the purse cuts but did not agree with Woodbine's method of implementing them.

"We endorsed a proposal of 5 percent across the board," said Coukos. "We are disappointed the cut is not being spread amongst all horses at all levels."