Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 6:01 pm |
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Officials at the New York Racing Association announced Thursday that the long-distance racing bonus program would be continued for the 2018 Belmont Spring/Summer meeting that opens Friday at the Long Island oval.
All open-company maiden special weight races as well as first- and second-level allowance heats at 10 furlongs and beyond will offer purse money of $90,000 once the bonuses are factored in. Maiden allowance races receive a bump of $15,000 from its $75,000 base, while one-other-than allowances receive a $13,000 enhancement and N2X allowances see their purses raised by $10,000.
“Owners and trainers are clearly interested in these races, and we’re pleased that the program has gained momentum over the last year,” said Martin Panza, senior director of racing operations for NYRA. “We continue to be one of the only circuits offering these races and we look forward to building the program even further.”
During the first year of the bonus in 2017, a total of 17 turf races were eligible for the higher prize money and attracted an average of 8.65 horses per race, nearly one horse higher than in the previous season when the bonus was not in place.
NYRA will also card eight races for 2-year-olds with purse money of $100,000 as part of its ongoing program leading up to the $150,000 Astoria S. for juvenile fillies June 7 and the male counterpart, the $150,000 Tremont S. June 8. Those two events are part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
Bonuses worth a total of $25,000 will be offered to the owners and trainers of New York-breds who finish first, second or third in any state-bred or open maiden juvenile race held during the spring/summer meet.
The bonus program, supported in partnership with the New York Breeding Fund, calls for owners to receive $9,000 for a first-place finish, $4,500 for second and $2,500 for third. Trainers would get a bonus of $4,000 for first, $3,000 for second and $2,000 for third.