As the calendar turns to 2012, Aqueduct's new Resorts World Casino is beginning to look like a jolly old elf named Claus for New York racing, writes ESPN's Bob Ehalt. January 1 marks the start of the purse incentives pumped into the track by the casino, and a look at the first condition book of the year will have New York horsemen singing carols. There they will find races such as a $60,000 maiden special weight sprint (previously only worth $50,000) and a $67,000 non-winners of one allowance route (previously $53,000).
Ehalt says the new purse structure is sure to have horsemen targeting NYRA races.
“On Jan. 14, there will be a $7,500 claiming sprint that will carry a beefed up $29,000 purse. Under those conditions, a horse which is worth only $7,500 can bring home nearly $18,000 for winning the race. Even a runner-up finish will be worth close to $6,000,” he writes.
“With money like that on the table, horsemen will have more reasons than ever to bring their better horses to the Big Apple and hopefully that will inevitably end the days of four-horse fields with 2-5 favorites – or, at the very least, reduce their frequency.”
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