Updated on 09/15/2010 1:15PM

Average handle drops 2.7 percent at Ellis Park


All-sources average daily handle handle was down 2.7 percent compared with last year at Ellis Park, where the 2010 meet ended Monday.

Ellis averaged $1,622,222 a day at its 27-day meet this year, down from $1,667,857 at its 28-day meet in 2009.

Gross handle this year at the Henderson, Ky., track was $43.8 million, down nearly 6 percent when compared with the $46.7 million wagered in 2009.

Meanwhile, average daily ontrack handle was $220,110, an increase of 7 percent over last year, while average attendance decreased less than 1 percent to 3,676.

Ellis mostly raced three days a week, a condensed schedule that helped the track average an extremely healthy 9.6 horses per race. The average was 9.2 in 2009, but only 7.6 in 2008, when the track ran a five-day schedule.

Ellis owner Ron Geary said in a Tuesday media release that he continues to “be overwhelmed by the support of our local and regional fans,” but that he has not committed to reopening in 2011, citing the disadvantages that Kentucky racing continue to face without alternative gaming. Geary has threatened to shutter Ellis on several prior occasions because of what he and others cite as “an unlevel playing field.”

On the racetrack, Corey Lanerie led all jockeys at the 2010 meet with 33 wins, and Mike Maker topped all trainers with 15 wins.