Major reduction in purse for Florida Derby, other big US races

Horse Racing

Major reduction in purse for Florida Derby, other big US races

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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Due to all casino closings and the lack of on-track handle, Gulfstream Park on Saturday (March 21) announced the Florida Derby (G1) will run next Saturday, March 28, as a US$750,000 race.

That's down from US$1 million and falls in line with the same move made by Oaklawn Park to make its Arkansas Derby (G1), now scheduled for May 2, worth 3/4 of a million as well.

Churchill Downs officials assured Oaklawn that both the Arkansas Derby and its Fantasy Stakes (G3) for threeyear- old fillies, which also saw a purse decrease, would allot the same number of Kentucky Derby and Oaks qualifying points, on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the first four finishers.

The same will apply to Gulfstream, a Churchill spokesman confirmed Saturday.

The Oaks and Derby have been postponed until September 4 and 5, respectively, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with the Florida Derby, next Saturday's Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and pan-American (G2) will offer US$200,000 purses, down from US$250,000.

Also, the Cutler Bay and Sanibel Island will go for US$100,000, down from US$125,000.

The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby marks an expected rematch between Holy Bull (G3) winner Tiz the Law and Fountain of Youth (G2) hero Ete Indien. Entries will be taken Wednesday.

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