by Pat McKenna
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a significant investment in the future of the New York-bred program, paving the way for the 2024 New York-bred foal crop to compete for some of the richest purses of any state-bred program in the nation.
Beginning on January 1, 2026, NY-bred overnight races for 2-year-olds on the NYRA circuit will offer purse amounts matching the race’s open-company counterpart. Accordingly, the 2024 New York-bred foal crop will gain the benefits and financial rewards that will flow from purse parity.
At the 2023 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, maiden races restricted to New York-bred 2-year-olds featured a purse of $88,000 compared to a purse of $105,000 offered for 2-year-olds competing in an open-company maiden event.
While this purse increase will impact only the 2024 New York-bred foal crop, NYRA intends to further expand purse parity for additional categories of New York-bred races in the future.
In 2022, NYRA conducted 556 races exclusively for registered New York-breds with purses totaling $42,366,000. Among those races were 56 stakes with $8,725,000 of purse money on offer. NYRA holds three high profile NY-bred showcase days annually, highlighted by New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course. In 2023, Saratoga Showcase Day was run on the Sunday of Travers Weekend and featured a whopping 113 NY-breds competing in 11 races, including six stakes worth a combined $1.25 million.
As a result of the partnership between NYRA and FOX Sports, nearly every NY-bred contest is broadcast live to a national audience on the FOX Sports family of networks. Both Saratoga Live and America’s Day at the Races, which are produced by NYRA, have generated sustained ratings growth since they were launched nationally in 2016.
“The New York-bred program is critically important to the future of thoroughbred racing in New York State,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “This new purse structure increases the value of the upcoming foal crop of New York-breds, and reflects NYRA’s commitment to the owners, breeders and trainers who choose to breed and race in New York.”
Beyond the rich purses offered by NYRA, a variety of owner, breeder and stallion awards are available to those who breed and race in New York. These lucrative incentives serve as a significant benefit to thoroughbred breeding farms across the state, which create and sustain thousands of jobs in every corner of New York.
“This initiative is a strong signal to the bloodstock market on why you should breed and foal in New York, and own a New York-bred to race,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB). “New York-breds compete and win at the highest levels, and NYRA’s consistent support guarantees more opportunities than ever for New York State’s breeders and owners.”
New York State has adopted rules that expand the reach of the New York-bred awards and benefits by clarifying a pathway for non-resident mares to gain residency status. According to the rule changes, a non-resident mare purchased in foal through public auction is deemed a resident mare provided the mare is purchased for at least $50,000 in the public auction; is present in the state of New York within 15 days after a sale in North America and 60 days at any public auction sale abroad; the foal is foaled in New York; and the mare thereafter is continuously in residence in New York from within 120 days after her last cover in the year of conception of another foal and remains in residency until foaling.
“It pays to participate in the New York-bred program,” added Thompson. “And bringing a mare back to New York is a valuable proposition, especially for the 2024 foaling season.”
For additional information on resident and non-resident mares and their foals, visit https://www.nybreds.com/rules/resident-non-resident-mares.
To support the residency rule, NYRA and The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (NYTBDF) provide up to $650,000 per year in purse bonuses to owners. The bonus offers $5,000 every time a New York-sired New York-bred wins at the maiden special weight or allowance level at NYRA's tracks.