LAUREL -- A drop in the value of two stakes at the spring meet at Pimlico Race Course will reflect the drop in business Laurel Race Course experienced during January.
The Federico Tesio Stakes, now worth $175,000, and the John B. Campbell Handicap, now $125,000, were each lowered by $25,000.
Betting handle was down 6.4 percent at Laurel last month. "We're trying to conform with economic reality," said Joe De Francis, president of both tracks.
De Francis, however, noted an upsurge in business the last two days, and said purses for overnight (non-stakes) races have not been decreased. "We don't want to [lower them], unless we're absolutely forced to," he said. "We realize one of the best ways to invest money is in purses."