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Santa Anita Looks to Build Field Size


Santa Anita unveiled several measures designed to increase field sizes at its upcoming Winter Meet, which opens Dec. 26. The track has adjusted restrictions in the first condition allowance category. Instead of being restricted to horses who are non-winners of $10,000 other than maiden, claiming or starter, horses will now be eligible if they have won $15,000 “other than.”

Looking to entice horsemen to ship south, horses that win first condition allowance races at Golden Gate Fields will now be exempted and will be eligible to run again at the same non-winner’s level at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita has also adjusted purse distribution in races with purse levels of $30,000 or lower to increase compensation for horses that finish fourth and fifth. Percentage of purse distribution in those races, from first through fifth, will now be 55, 20, 12, 8 and 5.

Overnight purses at the upcoming Winter Meet have also been increased, with some categories getting an 11% boost when compared to the track’s Autumn Meet.

“The overall increase in purse money is due to increased handle over the last year,” said P.J. Campo, Vice President, Racing for The Stronach Group. “We’ve adjusted the purses for the mid-level races in order to try to increase participation and field size, which drives handle. With these and other changes in place, we’re looking forward to a great Winter Meet starting the day after Christmas.”

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