NYRA Starter Loyalty Program enjoys successful Empire Showcase Day
by NYRA Press Office
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) Starter Loyalty Program, launched on April 2, 2018, enjoyed great success on Saturday's lucrative Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park, with five Silver Members earning stakes victories on a card that offered eight New York-bred stakes worth $1.75 million in purses.
A total of $47,185 in bonus money was awarded to horses competing on the 11-race Empire Showcase Day card. Impressively, of the 89 horses entered in Saturday's stakes, 40 were members of the Loyalty Program - 34 Silver and six Gold - with Silver members Pat On the Back, Highway Star, Offering Plan, Fifty Five and Bankit earning a trip to the winner's circle.
"We're pleased with the success of the NYRA Starter Loyalty Program which, thus far, has provided nearly $400,000 in bonus money for owners competing on our circuit. We appreciate their valuable support over the course of this campaign and hope they will continue to take advantage of the Loyalty Program through the upcoming Fall/Winter Meet at Aqueduct," said Martin Panza, NYRA's Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. "With more than $400,000 in overnight purse money offered per day, Aqueduct remains one of the strongest Winter meets in racing. We look forward to rewarding our loyal owners as racing shifts to Aqueduct starting November 2."
Pat On the Back held off a late rush from Can You Diggit to capture the featured $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap. Trained by Jeremiah Englehart for owners Harold Lerner, AWC Stables and Nehoc Stables, Pat On the Back earned an additional $8,250 as a Silver Member. Owners Chester and Mary Broman Sr. were rewarded for their Loyalty Program success as the duo of Can You Diggit, a Silver Member, added $3,000 to the bankroll and Mr. Buff, a strong third, collected $2,700.
Highway Star, trained by Rodrigo Ubillo for the Bromans as owner-breeders, rallied up the rail to win by a neck in the $150,000 Iroquois for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. The 5-year-old daughter of Girolamo earned an additional $4,125 in Loyalty Program bonus money. Satisfy, a Silver Member, earned an additional $1,500 for owners Dream Maker Racing; while fellow Silver Member Pauseforthecause earned a $900 bonus for the Bromans.
In the $200,000 Ticonderoga, for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, Peter Brant's Fifty Five, prevailed by a length over La Moneda for Belmont Fall Meet leading trainer Chad Brown. The 4-year-old Get Stormy filly, bred by Empire Equines LLC, earned a $5,500 bonus. La Moneda, a Silver Member owned by Patricia L. Moseley, earned a $2,000 bonus.
Offering Plan came through as the 6-5 favorite with an impressive, six-length victory in the $200,000 Mohawk at 1 1/16 miles on the Widener turf. Trained by Brown for owners Michael Dubb, Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Aisquith, Offering Plan earned an additional $5,500. Rapt, a Silver Member, chased home Offering Plan to complete the exacta and earn an additional $2,000 for owner Marc Keller, while Red Knight stayed on for third to earn $1,200 as a Silver Member for owners Trinity Farm.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing's Bankit romped to a 5 ¾-length win in the 22nd running of the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow for 2-year-olds. Bankit, who was earning his first career stakes victory, was rewarded with a $6,875 loyalty bonus.
Bonita Bianca scored a tremendous six-length score in the $250,000 Empire Distaff which saw Tiznow's Smile, a NYRA Starter Loyalty Program Gold Member, earn a $2,250 bonus for owner Francis J. Paolangeli. The Empire Showcase Day undercard also provided dividends in the nightcap, won by Newport Breeze, with runner-up Starlite Mission, a Gold Member, making $990 for owners John Moirano, Monty Foss, Pines Stables and Bob Chimienti. Show horse Puffery, a Silver Member, banked a $396 bonus for owners William Parsons, Jr. and David S. Howe.
NYRA 2018-19 Loyalty Program, at a glance:
From the period between April 2, 2018 through April 1, 2019
- NYRA Silver: Starts 5 and 6
- Runners will compete for 5% more purse money
- NYRA Gold: Starts 7, 8, and 9
- Runners will compete for 7.5% more purse money
- NYRA Platinum: Starts 10 and 11
- Runners will compete for 12.5% more purse money
- NYRA Diamond: Starts 12 and higher
- Runners will compete for 15% more purse money
For example, for a $100,000 stakes race this fall at Belmont Park, a NYRA Silver member could receive an additional $2,750 on top of the $55,000 winner's share of the purse. For a stakes at the same level during the Aqueduct Winter Meet, a NYRA Platinum member could earn an additional $6,875 above the $55,000 winner's share.
The number of starts transfer with horses that are claimed or have undergone ownership changes.
Qualifying starts for bonus money include any winners' races. Maiden races do not award purse bonuses but are counted as starts. For example, if a horse breaks his maiden on his fifth start of the season, his sixth start will be in a winners' race and therefore he would be considered a Silver member.
Races not counted as a qualifying start include any race in which a horse is beaten by 25 lengths or more, or any race in which a horse is placed on the vet's list for lameness or unsoundness. The horse must be declared an official starter to get credit for the start. Only two starts in any 30-day period are counted toward the program. Additionally, award money is not paid on breeders' purse supplements.