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Freehold & SBOANJ Agree On Purse Enhancements

Published: February 6, 2010 4:18 pm ET

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Purse money at Freehold Raceway will increase by nearly $4.8 million thanks to an agreement reached with the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) .

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority has agreed to release the Purse Enhancement Agreement funds, which will be disbursed at Freehold, mostly in 2010.

“The extra funding will benefit all classes racing at Freehold,” said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. “The increases will be especially apparent in the higher classes, with a preference for New Jersey-sired, bred or owned horses.”

"We are pleased to come to this agreement to provide for an increase to the purse program at Freehold Raceway,” said Christopher McErlean, president of PennWood Racing Inc., Freehold’s parent company. “I think everyone understands this is a temporary solution and a long term funding and business plan for all segments of racing - racetracks, horsemen, breeders and our customer base - to survive in New Jersey is necessary and urgently needed. Freehold has expressed its desire to be part of that process before and will reiterate that position again."

Most claiming and condition classes will experience a 30 percent purse increase, effective with the condition sheet issued on February 11. The first program reflecting the purse increase will be contested on Thursday, February 18 (drawn on February 13), with an additional jump in purses expected in the spring.

All races for New Jersey-sired, bred or owned horses will continue to have a bonus of 25 percent added to the base purse for such races.

The bulk of the funds - $4.2 million – will be disbursed through February 2011, with a focus on maiden and non-winners of two classes. Future increases will be targeted toward increasing both the quality of races and field size at Freehold. Both Freehold and the SBOANJ will work to ensure that New Jersey-sired, bred and owned horses benefit from this purse enhancement.

Freehold will employ some of the available funds to introduce new late closing events, which will be announced shortly.

Click here to view Freehold’s revised purse structure effective February 18 (drawn February 13).

(SBOANJ)


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