Horse racing purse money - How is it split

Promoted Content 31 July 2022

Horse racing is one of the most entertaining sports in the world that brings in a lot of spectators onto the stands and in front of the TVs.

But this exciting sport is also very popular amongst the bettors, which is why you might be seeing so many bookmakers offers on the internet.

Regardless if you are a horse racing fan or a bettor that enjoys betting on horses, you have surely come across the term horse racing purse money.

If you have come across this term and you aren’t familiar with its meaning, then you shouldn’t worry as we’ve got you covered. Below you will find everything that you need to know about horse racing purse money.

What is horse racing purse money?

In horse racing, the prize money that the winning horse or horse is receiving is called the purse money. The more prestigious horse races that are featuring the better horses tend to offer bigger purses, than the rest of the horse races.

But, it is worth noting that all horse races come with a purse money, as it acts like a motivational factor for all the horse owners who are looking for races for their horse and the jockeys who are searching for a horse to compete with.

As we mentioned before, the purse is paid out to the winner of the horse race, where most of the money is going to the horse owner while the jockey receives a certain percentage of the featured purse. The jockey will also receive a finishing place fee, a riding fee, and a salary if the owners retain them.

The amount of a purse is based on the total wagers from the previous racing season. If there are more bets placed on the race, then the purse for the following season will be higher. Also, the amount of the purse may increase if starter fees, entry fees, and nomination fees are included.

How is the horse racing purse money split?

The amount of prize money that a horse gets from a race depends on several factors, which include the purse size, the type of race, and the position that the horse finishes the race. It goes without saying that the horse that manages to finish first in a race gets the largest share of the purse money.

As for the earnings of the other horses in the race, they will get smaller portions of the purse money, where the percentage of the purse money is getting lower towards the last placed horse.

Typically, the first-placed horse will get around 60% to 70% of the total purse while the second-placed horse will receive a percentage of the purse money that goes between 15% and 20%. The rest of the purse money will be split among the remaining horses, according to their finishing position.

The most common purse money split that is being used today was introduced back in 1975 in Florida when they've come up with a new revolutionary payout system for horse racers. This new paying system ensured that all race finishers will be getting a portion of the purse money.

They've brought in a new rule where 1% of the purse money will be allocated to the horses that will finish a race lower than the fourth position. The amount of the prize money varies based on the total number of horses that are competing in a horse race.

For example, if in a horse race there are twelve horses competing for the biggest prize, then 60% of the purse money will be going to the winner of the race, 18% to the second-placed horse, 10% to the third-placed, the fourth-placed horse will get 4%, and 1% each for the fifth to twelfth.

This payout method is being used at most horse racing events in various degrees. For instance, in 2018, New York decided to change its purse money system and give the winner 55% of the prize money.

The second-placed horse would get 20%, the third will receive 12%, 6% would be given to the fourth, 4% to the fifth, and the remaining 3% would be split equally between the other horses.

One thing that is worth noting is that as the betting industry progresses, sportsbooks will be far more present in the horse racing industry and hence, there’s a chance that the purse money might increase. In other words, the future of the horse racing industry is looking bright.

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