10/26/2010 5:04PM

Bigger purses, higher handle at Hoosier Park meet


Double-digit gains in purses distributed during Hoosier Park's 63-day meet led to significant increases in handle on the track's product, according to figures provided by the Anderson, Ind., track.

According to the track, total purses distributed during both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races during the mixed meet was $17.2 million, or $273,323 per live racing program, a 23 percent increase over the $13.9 million distributed during last year's 63-day meet. About 90 percent of that total was distributed in Thoroughbred races, including $6.6 million in races restricted to Indiana-breds.

Purses at Hoosier Park are heavily subsidized by revenue from a casino at the track, by order of state law. The casinos opened last year.

Average daily handle during the meet was $763,492, up 8 percent over the figure for last year. Total handle during the meet was $48.1 million.

The handle figures underline the oversized role of the subsidies provided by the casino. Using traditional figures to determine revenue from handle, Hoosier Park generated approximately $30,000 a day in total revenue from betting - or approximately $240,000 less than it distributed each day in purses.

Field size, including the Quarter Horse races, increased from 8.1 horses per race to 8.6 horses per race, according to the track.