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Track Announces Purse Increase

Published: September 13, 2018 1:00 pm ET

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Batavia Downs has announced that starting on Wednesday, October 3 and continuing through the end of the meet, all purses will be raised by 10 per cent across the board.

The increase is due to a combination of two factors: there has been a significant rise in handle realized by the track so far this season, plus there were 43 less races contested than last year.

“Our on-track betting is up 4.9 per cent and our export handle is up 15.3 per cent after the first 26 cards of racing,” said Todd Haight, Batavia Downs’ director/GM of live racing. “By raising purses starting next month it will put approximately $204,000 back into local horsemen’s pockets, and that, in turn, can help bring new and better racing stock to western New York. We’re pleased the numbers are heading in the right direction.”

The increase would take the current low-to-high purse structure from $2,750-$10,500 to $3,025-$11,550.

The racing at Batavia has been very aggressive this year, which has provided a better product to wager on – and one of the reasons for that was the removal of the passing lane that had been in place since 1988.

“There is no question that removing the passing lane has led to more competitive racing, and both on and off track patrons have responded in a positive manner to that change,” Haight said. “We’ve gotten feedback from our customers since the start of the meet and now they’ve also made a statement through the betting windows.”

The Batavia Downs live meet will continue through Saturday, December 15 with a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday schedule. Post time remains 5 p.m. mid-week and 6 p.m. on the weekends. There will be a special Columbus Day matinee on Monday, October 8 that will start at 1:15 p.m.

(Batavia Downs)

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