1,400 dead horses, a fading sport, and huge subsidies — Pennsylvania horse racing faces a reckoning – The Philadelphia Inquirer

One big problem is that the purses, artificially fueled by slots money, have jumped, despite the decades-long decline in horse racing. In 2000, Sinatra said, the average claiming-race purse for thoroughbreds was $19,000. By 2019, the average had ballooned to $32,000, giving owners a huge incentive to run their weakest horses.