Sports

Overnight purses increase 5 percent | Emerald Downs

The amount of purse money available for overnight races at Emerald Downs will be raised 5 percent, track Vice President Jack Hodge announced. The purse increase will take effect July 3 and be retroactive to opening day, April 13.

Hodge said several factors enabled the increase including a boost in on-track attendance and wagering figures almost identical to last year’s.

“We would like to emphasize what a great job the horsemen are doing at the entry booth, and commend our racing secretary Bret Anderson and his racing office staff for their hard work,” Hodge said.

On-track attendance, up 11 percent in 2011, has risen another 1.4 percent in 2012, and the better weather months of July and August usually mean even better attendance.

“We’re exceptionally pleased to be ahead of last year’s 11 percent gain in attendance,” Hodge said. “It’s a very good sign, and obviously bodes well for the handle too.”

The purse increase does not affect Emerald Downs’ extensive stakes schedule, which includes 30 races and the 77th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, Aug. 19.

Emerald Downs’ weekly schedule is Friday thru Sunday with Thursdays added July 19 to August 23. The 81-day meeting continues thru Sunday, Sept. 23. Post time is 6:15 p.m. weeknights and 2:15 Sundays and holidays.

The condition book is available online at emeralddowns.com.

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