A $250,000 bonus will be awarded to the connections of a horse who sweeps this year's Big Apple Triple, a series of races at Belmont Park, Finger Lakes Racetrack, and Saratoga Race Course for New York-bred 3-year-olds.
The Big Apple Triple comprises Belmont's $125,000 Mike Lee at seven furlongs on June 1, Finger Lakes' $150,000 New York Derby at 1 1/16 miles on July 20, and Saratoga's $150,000 Albany at 1 1/8 miles on August 21.
The bonus has returned after a one-year hiatus. In 2008, Tin Cup Chalice became the first – and so far only – horse to sweep the series.
“The $250,000 Big Apple Triple owners bonus is up for grabs again in New York,” said Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. “This lucrative incentive is yet another perk for owning a New York-bred. Monetary incentives like this add value for any owner in racing and that's what makes New York-bred ownership even more appealing. The Triple races are worth $425,000 in purses this year for state-breds. I hope to see every trainer and owner of a 3-year-old New York-bred nominate to the first leg of the Triple, the June 1 Mike Lee.”
“The Big Apple Triple is an elusive prize but well worth reaching for,” added Tracy Egan, Executive Director of the NY Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund. “Our breeders are striving to breed quality horses that can demonstrate the kind of versatility and talent demanded by this series. This bonus illustrates the tremendous opportunities that go along with racing New York-breds. When you think New York-bred hum the chorus line from the O'Jays ‘For Love of Money' (money, money, money, money).”
In 2012, Willy Beamin won the Mike Lee and Albany before going on to take the Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop. The New York Derby went to Fox Rules.
“The reinstatement of the owners bonus should give horsemen even greater incentive to run their top New York-breds in those races,” said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing P. J. Campo. “We're happy to have the opportunity to work with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, the NY Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, and Finger Lakes in promoting the Big Apple Triple.”
“We look forward to welcoming the Mike Lee winner and all challengers to Finger Lakes for the New York Derby,” said Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack President and General Manager Chris Riegle. “The New York-bred program is in many ways the backbone of our racing program and we take great pride in hosting the second leg of this exciting series.”
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