Rockingham Park is threatening to cut its purse structure by $5,000 per day, from $60,000 to $55,000, as the New Hampshire Legislature continues to balk at giving the Salem oval a tax break.
Dropped were the Mom's Command Handicap, the Bostonian Handicap, the Bay State Handicap, the Miles Standish Stakes and the Lisa Stakes. Twenty-two races were reduced by $5,000; the Macomber Handicap, the Independence Day Handicap and the Timely Writer Handicap were all cut $10,000; the Faneuil Hall Handicap was cut $15,000. The Yankee Handicap, which used to be the hallmark of the fall season, was savaged, being slashed from $75,000 to $45,000.
In 1988, Suffolk had a $1,485,000 stakes program. This year the program will be worth $1,220,000. The reductions are a direct result of the fallen handle since current ownership took over. The handle has plunged from $214 million in '86 to $188,663,265 last year, a loss of more than $25 million.