The purse is the prize money attached to a certain horse racing contest.
Each race at every racetrack has a purse, which is divided among the top finishers. The money is produced by the racetrack’s takeout – the amount it takes out of the pari-mutuel pool before paying winning tickets.
Purses are typically distributed this way: 60 percent to the connections of the winner; 20 percent to the runner-up; 11 percent to third; 6 percent to fourth; and 3 percent to fifth. But some tracks have their own variations.