LOUISVILLE — Churchill Downs says it will raise its overnight race purses by 10 percent starting Monday thanks to the financial windfall from a surge in betting during Kentucky Derby week.
The Louisville track said Friday that the prize money will rise on average by about $3,400 per race. The increase will apply to stakes, allowance and claiming races.
The track says total overnight purses for its spring meet are projected to be $13.5 million, up from an original forecast of $13 million.
The higher purses are made possible by record all-source wagering on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days early this month. The track says the two days of racing attracted nearly $227 million in wagers, up nearly 12 percent from 2011.
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Churchill's 39-day spring meet runs through July 1.