01/26/2016 3:24PM

Woodbine reducing Ontario-sired bonuses

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Due to a projected shortfall in funding, Woodbine announced Tuesday that it’s reducing a lucrative bonus for eligible Ontario-sired runners.

The 40 percent bonus instituted in 2014 for Ontario-sired horses competing in open company (except for those claimed and racing below $20,000) has been lowered to 30 percent in allowance and maiden special weight events, and to 20 percent in all other eligible races.

Woodbine is also eliminating Ontario-sired maiden special weight races for 3-year-olds and up.

“As declining horse supply becomes a growing factor, [Woodbine Entertainment Group] can no longer support a parallel program of open races and restricted OS races,” said Steve Lym, WEG’s director of racing.

Maiden special weight events for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds will continue to be offered until mid-summer, and will be written all season long for 2-year-olds.

Additionally, the non-winners-of-three races that combined Ontario-sired allowance stock with $40,000 and $20,000 claimers are now strictly claiming contests.  

Woodbine is not planning any changes to the base purses of overnight races in 2016, but further adjustments to the Ontario-sired program may be necessary, according to Lym.