07/30/2017 10:56PM

Average daily handle increases at 2017 Lone Star Park meet

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A packed grandstand on opening day at Lone Star Park in 1997. The track celebrated its 20th anniversary season this year.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Lone Star Park experienced an 11 percent increase in average daily handle during its 50-date Thoroughbred meet that closed Sunday, according to figures provided by the track. The boost came from a spike in offtrack handle, while betting ontrack remained on par with the corresponding 50-date meet in 2016.

Lone Star handled an average $929,835 a program on its live races from all sources this meet. Of that amount, handle on Lone Star's races offtrack was up 15 percent, to $703,080 a program. Handle ontrack on Lone Star's races averaged $226,754 a program, up 1 percent.  

Attendance ontrack averaged 6,752 a program, down 6 percent. 

Purses averaged $151,157 a card, up 2 percent from 2016. The field size averaged 7.87 starters a race, up from 7.59. 

Lone Star started its meet a week later than usual this season, on April 20, and also ended a week later. The track has pitched similar dates for 2018.

Steve Asmussen won his 12th Lone Star training title, with 79 wins from 302 starts. He also led all trainers in stable earnings with $1,072,886. Karl Broberg was the meet’s second-leading trainer in wins, with 54 from 248 starts. Asmussen also led all owners in wins, with 31 from 115 starts.

Richard Eramia won his first Lone Star riding title, with 68 wins from 319 mounts. He also led all riders in mount earnings, with $1,023,083. Iram Diego was the second-leading rider, with 65 wins from 314 starts. He had mount earnings of $949,424.

Lone Star celebrated its 20th anniversary season throughout the meet, having first opened its doors in April 1997. Hall of Famers Bob Baffert and Mike Smith swept the co-richest races of the season with Mor Spirit in the Grade 3, $200,000 Steve Sexton Mile and Danzing Candy in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. Texas Chrome, who ran second in both races, became the second Texas-bred in history to go over $1 million in earnings with his victory in the $50,000 Assault on July 22 at Lone Star.