The New York Racing Association has announced today the implementation of a starter loyalty program for owners and trainers of horses that make at least five starts on the NYRA circuit in a 12-month period beginning April 2, 2018.
Under the new program, horses can earn Silver- through Diamond-level purse bonuses between 5% and 15% on money earned in a qualifying race, based on their number of starts at NYRA tracks through April 1, 2019.
Awards will be offered in all winners' races and will be paid out on each first- through fifth-place finish.
NYRA 2018-19 Loyalty Program Levels:
- NYRA Silver: Starts 5 and 6
- Runners will compete for 5% more purse money
- NYRA Gold: Starts 7, 8, and 9
- Runners will compete for 7.5% more purse money
- NYRA Platinum: Starts 10 and 11
- Runners will compete for 12.5% more purse money
- NYRA Diamond: Starts 12 and higher
- Runners will compete for 15% more purse money
For example, for a $100,000 stakes race this fall at Belmont Park, a NYRA Silver member could receive an additional $3,000 on top of the $60,000 winner's share of the purse. For a stakes at the same level during the Aqueduct Winter Meet, a NYRA Platinum member could earn an additional $7,500 above the $60,000 winner's share.
The number of starts transfer with horses that are claimed or have undergone ownership changes.
“This loyalty program will provide direct rewards for trainers that run their horses at NYRA tracks throughout the year,” said Martin Panza, NYRA senior vice president for racing operations. “We're proud to institute such a broad program to support horsemen and women no matter the number of horses in their barn.”
“The horsemen are supportive of incentivized earnings programs, as it further aligns our collective interests,” said New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association President Joe Appelbaum. “The goal is to produce bigger fields and a better racing product, which in turn will encourage increased handle and have a virtuous effect on purse levels and the overall health of New York racing.”
Qualifying starts for bonus money include any winners' races. Maiden races will not award purse bonuses, but will be counted as starts. For example, if a horse breaks his maiden on his fifth start of the season, his sixth start will be in a winners' race and therefore he would be considered a Silver member.
Races that will not be counted as a start include any race in which a horse is beaten by 25 lengths or more, or any race in which a horse is placed on the vet's list for lameness or unsoundness. The horse must be declared an official starter to get credit for the start. Only two starts in a 30-day period will be counted toward the program. The third start during that period of time will not be eligible for program participation. Award money will not be paid on breeders' purse supplements.
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