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Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Executive Director Peter Goold announced on Tuesday that New York State Sire Stakes purses for the 2009 season are expected to be $16 million, about $1 million higher than previously expected, due to increased revenues from the video gaming machines at New York State harness tracks.


The season kicks off on June 2 with three-year-old colt trot races at Monticello Raceway.


"The 2009 New York Sire Stakes racing season is marked with increased purses, a new venue for our championship races and several additional races throughout the season," said Goold. "We are looking forward to another prosperous and exciting season."


The races are held at the seven pari-mutuel harness tracks throughout the State, the Goshen Historic Track and at 22 participating county fairs. The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) racing season is June through September each year.   


The NYSS kicks off next month at Monticello Raceway June 2, Buffalo Raceway June 3 and Yonkers Raceway June 11. The NYSS races begin at Batavia Downs, Saratoga Raceway, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs in July.


The full schedule is listed on 2009 NYSS schedule brochures are also available by contacting the Fund at


The NYSS offers a three-tiered racing program: The Sire Stakes and State Fair series; Late Closers series; and County Fair series. The unique program offers money-earning opportunities for horses of all ability levels.


These estimates include approximate starting fees. Actual purses depend upon the number of horses entered and the number of divisions raced.


The NYSS season culminates with the lucrative $1.4 million "Night of Champions" at Vernon Downs on September 26, 2009. Each division of the NYSS finals is worth $175,000; there is no starting fee.


The State Fair races at Tioga Downs for two- and three-year-olds will take place on August 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16. These events will carry estimated purses of $100,000 divided. The State Fair races held at Goshen Historic Track for three-year-olds are scheduled for July 4 & 5.


Legs of the New York-Bred Late Closers series race for a guaranteed purse of $10,000 plus starting fees in each division. Late Closers finals are $25,000 in each division. Sire Stakes eligible horses can enter the Late Closers series. Three-year-olds must be a non-winner of $20,000 lifetime and two-year-olds must be a non-winner of $7,500. The earnings cutoff and nomination deadlines are June 22 for three-year-olds and July 27 for two-year-olds.


Total purses at the 22 New York County Fairs with harness racing are an estimated $5,000 for two-year-olds and $5,500 for three-year-olds, with an average $2,500 purse for each race. County Fair finals will be raced at Vernon Downs on September 5, 2009.


If you have a question about New York Sire Stakes program and purses, please contact Peter Goold, executive director, at 518-436-8713.


The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the Fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the State. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, State Fair races, Late Closers Series events, and County Fair Series races. Additionally, the Fund provides assistance to county agriculture societies and contributes to the statewide 4-H program, the Goshen Historic Track, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, and to the Harry M. Zweig Fund for Equine Research.


For more information about the Fund and its racing and breeding programs, please visit