Santa Anita Park will increase the purses for its winter/spring meet that begins Dec. 26, track officials announced.

Specifics for individual stakes races will be announced soon, but the Arcadia track will offer $67,000 maiden special weight races — a $6,000 increase over what was offered at the 2020-21 winter/spring meeting, Santa Anita said Monday.

Open, first condition allowance races will also get a $6,000 purse hike, from $63,000 to $69,000.

The previous $36,000 purse for horses running for a $25,000 claiming tag will increase to $40,000.

“We’re very happy to be in a position to announce these purse increases and we’ll have additional information available for everyone very soon,” said Chris Merz, Santa Anita director of racing and racing secretary.

“We’re certainly hopeful that owners and horsemen both here in California and around the country will consider all that we’re offering and make plans to train and race at Santa Anita this winter,” Merz added. “Here in California, our purse structure is based solely upon pari-mutuel handle. There are no casino subsidies available. That said, we are very encouraged by recent trends in California racing and we’re hopeful we can continue on an upward path this winter and into the spring.”

In horse racing, the term purse refers to the total amount of money paid out to the top finishers of a particular race.

“We’ve been able to raise purses at the winter/spring meet by 10% for two consecutive years now and that’s certainly good news. We have invested heavily in change and in our racing infrastructure, which has resulted in better, safer racing, which is our top priority,” Santa Anita Senior Vice President and General Manager Nate Newby said.

Santa Anita is currently in its offseason, with live racing set to resume Oct. 1 for the track’s autumn meet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *