Purses for the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita, which had been expected to go up because of the addition of Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos to the satellite betting network, will go down, track officials announced Sunday, and three stakes are being cut by a total of $100,000.
Starting Oct. 16, daily purses will average $201,000 instead of the $230,000 that had been anticipated.
The Oct. 20 Las Palmas Handicap will be a $125,000 race, down $25,000; the Rowan Handicap on Nov. 3 also will be cut by $25,000, to $75,000; and the Burke Handicap on Nov. 11, closing day, will be worth $150,000 after having been designated as a $200,000 stake.
After the first five days of the season, the average daily handle is $5.9 million, which is about the same as last year. Last year, however, 81% of the betting total was on-track. This year, only 53% of the handle has been on-track, because many of the bettors are going to more convenient facilities at Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos.
Santa Anita's commission from betting is about 6% on-track and 2% off-track.