09/01/2008 11:00PM

Canterbury handle declines


Canterbury Park concluded its 2008 meeting on Labor Day with declines in attendance and handle, reflecting a trend at racetracks across the country.

The Canterbury Park meeting consisted of 67 racing days, one fewer than last year, and attracted 360,987 fans for an average daily attendance of 5,388, a 1.6 percent decrease from 2007's average of 5,476.

Total handle from all sources during the race meeting, including incoming simulcasts on race days, was $47,672,242, a decrease of 6.2 percent from last year's $50,832,724. Daily all-sources handle averaged $711,526, a decline of 4.8 percent from last year's average of $747,540.

Average daily ontrack handle this year was $206,688, an 8.6 percent decrease from the 2007 average daily ontrack handle of $226,110.

Wagering at offtrack facilities on the Canterbury Park signal in 2008 averaged $295,430 a day, an increase of 2.6 percent from last year's $287,823. Part of the increase in offtrack handle can be attributed to the return of the Claiming Crown to Canterbury this year. The 2007 crowns was held at Ellis Park.

Daily wagering on full-card simulcasting decreased 10.4 percent this year and averaged $209,407 on live race days, down from $233,607 in 2007.

Mac Robertson concluded the meet as the leading Thoroughbred trainer with 77 wins to earn his fourth consecutive training title. Derek Bell won the leading rider title for the sixth time at Canterbury with 93 victories.