Batavia Downs announces 10 percent purse increase
Written by WBTA STAFF on September 13, 2018
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY — Batavia Downs has announced today that starting on Wednesday (Oct. 3) and continuing through the end of the meet, all purses will be raised by 10 percent across the board.
The increase is due to a combination of two factors: there has been a significant rise in handle realized by the track so far this season plus there were 43 less races run than last year.
“Our on-track betting is up 4.9 percent and our export handle is up 15.3 percent after the first 26 cards of racing,” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “By raising purses starting next month it will put approximately $204,000 back into local horsemen’s pockets and that in turn can help bring new and better racing stock to western New York. We’re pleased the numbers are heading in the right direction.”
The increase would take the current low to high purse structure from $2,750- $10,500 to $3,025-$11,550.
The racing has been very aggressive this year, providing a better product to wager on and one of the reasons for that was the removal of the passing lane that had been in place since 1988.
“There is no question that removing the passing lane has led to more competitive racing and both on and off track patrons have responded in a positive manner to that change. We’ve gotten feedback from our customers since the start of the meet and now they’ve also made a statement through the betting windows,” Haight concluded.
The Batavia Downs live meet continues through Saturday (Dec. 15) with a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday schedule. Post time remains 5 p.m. mid-week and 6 p.m. on the weekends. There is a special Columbus Day matinee on Monday (Oct. 8) that starts at 1:15 p.m.