MTHA BOARD OKs PLAN TO PAY BACK TO LAST IN OVERNIGHT RACES ON DIRT

 Horses that finish fifth through last in all dirt races at Laurel Park will collect the equivalent of 4% of the published purse for overnight races effective March 2 with the third condition book of the winter meet.

The Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association have been discussing different ways to increase the return for owners and trainers who compete in the state as well as boost field size.

 Currently, the published purse is paid 57% for first, 21% for second, 11% for third, 3% for fifth and 2% for sixth. Under the new formula, if the purse is $25,000 for example, fifth place would be worth $1,000 (up from $750) and sixth place would be worth $1,000 (up from $500). If there are nine horses in the race, the final three finishers would each receive $1,000 as well.

The MTHA Board of Directors during its Feb. 23 board meeting agreed to support the plan given the purse account has a surplus. The MTHA and MJC in recent years have worked together to gradually increase racing dates and in turn offer additional purse opportunities.

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