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Laurel purse bonus may be dropped


A lucrative purse bonus currently being paid to horsemen at Laurel Park might be discontinued.

Because of recent business declines, purses have been overpaid about $500,000, creating a deficit that is worrying horsemen. They have asked track operator Joe De Francis to drop the bonus plan, which amounts to about $15,000 extra a day being paid in purses.

Laurel general manager John Mooney said yesterday that the bonus plan will stay in effect at least through Oct. 24.

"We're taking a hard look at the figures," he said. "We'll either reduce the size of the bonus or cut it out until the Pimlico meet next spring."

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