by Pat McKenna
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced significant increases of more than $1.6 million to its purse schedule for the 2022 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course, which opens on Thursday, July 14 and continues through Monday, September 5.
The condition book for the Saratoga summer meet is now available online at nyra.com/Saratoga. Physical copies of the condition book will be available in the Belmont Park racing office beginning Wednesday, June 29th.
"We're pleased to be able to offer these purse increases across the middle core of our racing program," said Frank Gabriel, Jr., NYRA’s Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. "We look forward to continuing to support our horsemen at the upcoming Saratoga summer meet. These purse increases should only add to the already competitive racing on offer at the nation's greatest race meet."
All open two and three-other-than allowance races will see an increase of $15,000 to $120,000 and $125,000, respectively, while a-other-than allowances will be increased by $12,000 to $115,000. Restricted one and two-other than allowances will both see an increase of $5,000 to $95,000 and $100,000, respectively.
$50,000 starter allowances will increase by $8,000 and offer a $70,000 purse while $50,000 claiming races will offer an $80,000 purse, up $8,000 from last year. Additionally, there will be a $6,000 increase for the $40,000 level, a $5,000 increase for the $25,000 level, and a $4,000 boost for both the $32,000 and $20,000 levels. All claiming purses in excess of a 2:1 purse to claiming price ratio are subject New York State Gaming Commission approval.
Open maiden special weight races at Saratoga will enjoy a $5,000 boost, increasing to $105,000. New York-bred maiden special weights will increase by $3,000 to $88,000.
In addition to these purse increases, the NYRA Maiden Allowance Auction Series will return this summer for the fourth year following its launch in 2019. All races in this series are restricted to horses that sold or RNA’d for $50,000 or less at their most recent auction recognized by Equibase, providing an additional incentive and opportunity for owners to compete at Saratoga.
The Maiden Allowance Auction Series races will be offered in the first condition book of the Saratoga meet for purses of $83,000, a $3,000 increase over 2021. The Maiden Allowance Auction Series condition will also include up to $14,442 in New York Breeding Fund open company owners awards for New York-breds finishing first through third in the Maiden Allowance Auction Series.
Pari-mutuel wagering funds the majority of the NYRA purse account, which is awarded to horsemen and, in turn, benefits hundreds of small businesses operating at NYRA tracks and others dependent on the thoroughbred racing industry. Thoroughbred racing in New York State is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact.
Highlighted by the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 27 and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on August 6, the 2022 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will feature 77 stakes worth $22.6 million in total purses.