Explaining ‘Running for Purse Money Only’

Race Results, Racing news
The NYRA has this Wrong – ‘Running for Purse Money Only’ is Ridiculous

There are so many races daily, and many situations and results get overlooked. But on Wednesday at Belmont Park in Race 6, Elegant Gem won by more than 7 lengths and bettors could not get paid as the horse was accidentally scratched among the many other scratches due to weather. The race was moved off the turf to the dirt, and the track was sloppy (sealed). The 6 furlong sprint still had eight horses run, but what a disappointment for those that wanted to bet Elegant Gem.

Our handicapping contact at the East Coast Handicapping Report (ECHR) had this to say about Elegant Gem before the $40,000 Maiden Claiming race.

ELEGANT JEM (#12) Strings races together, now facing lesser, shortening up, and a pair of works in place to signify she’s regaining some good health. Certainly changes in place to believe better is coming, and anticipated by her barn.

Here is what ECHR points out about ‘Running for Purse Money Only.’

The RUNNING FOR PURSE MONEY ONLY is just wrong, plain and simple. First, what happened Wednesday was not the normal reason for this enigma to pop up. Our horse, ELEGANT JEM, won by 7 lengths, but was not part of the wagering, why?

AmTote, the toteboard system for NYRA, accidentally scratched the horse among the slew of weather induced scratches, and despite the mistake being discovered only minutes later, even BEFORE the first race had been run, hours from the start of Race 6 won by Elegant Gem, the track felt it would show integrity by allowing him to run, in lieu of those who perhaps did not bet on him thinking he was scratched, yet allowing him to race for purse money.

The USUAL scenario for the “running for purse money only,” is when half of an entry is scratched. NYRA obviously doesn’t believe the common racegoer can decipher or recognize half the entry has been scratched, so rather than have a few complaints from those who bet the entry thinking both horses were running, they throw out this silly rule. HERE’S THE PROBLEM – EVEN IF THE HORSE IS RUNNING FOR PURSE MONEY ONLY, HE’S STILL A BIG PART OF THE RACE AND OUTCOME, OFTEN CREATING A PACE SCENARIO WHICH TRULY AFFECTS THE RUNNERS WHO CAN AND ARE BEING BET ON.

This is a ridiculous rule that simply needs to be extinguished. If a horse can affect the running of the race in any way, shape or form, then they need to be included in the wagering, otherwise the horse just needs to be scratched, period.

The Belmont Racing Notebook Racing Notebook is compliments of the ECHR – eastcoasthorseracing.com.