Across-The-Board Purse Increases, New Distribution Structure For Saratoga Meet

by | 07.06.2018 | 5:09pm

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has announced a $2,000 across-the-board purse increase for all maiden and allowance races, as well as some claiming races, for the 2018 meet at Saratoga Race Course.

For the prestigious 40-day meet, which runs from Friday, July 20 to Monday, September 3, top maiden special weights will now carry a purse of $85,000 and first-level allowance optional claiming races will carry $95,000.

Additionally, the 2018 Saratoga meet will also introduce a new and permanent purse distribution allocation. With the exception of any stakes with awards specifically stated in the condition book, all races going forward will pay out as follows: 55 percent of the total purse to the winner, 20 percent to second place, 12 percent to third, six percent to fourth, four percent to fifth, with the remaining three percent divided among the remaining runners.

The new purse distribution will be adjusted from the current breakdown of 60-20-10-5-3 percent to the top five finishers, respectively, with the remaining two percent divided among the remainder of the field.

According to, the purses will not be increased for claiming races with a purse-to-claim ratio of 2-to-1. Martin Panza indicated that NYRA, NYTHA and NYTB plan to petition the New York Gaming Commission to increase that ratio to 2.7-to-1, equivalent to that of most other states.

The 2018 meet Saratoga Race Course, which includes 69 stakes worth $18.8 million in purses,  will again be highlighted by the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney on August 4 and the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 25, the centerpieces of two of the biggest days in North American racing.

The first condition book for the 2018 Saratoga meet is now available online at

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