09/04/2002 12:00AM

Canterbury track report

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Canterbury Park, which concluded a 61-day meeting on Monday, posted gains in attendance and simulcast wagering but had its handle decrease from the previous two seasons.

Ontrack attendance totaled 265,383 for the season, a daily average of 4,350, and an 8 percent increase over last season's daily average of 4,010.

Total handle on Canterbury's races was $26,512,324, an average of $434,628 per day. That figure was down 8 percent from the $29,022,584 and average of $475,780 wagered during last year's 61-day meet.

Ontrack handle dipped this season to $15,255,902 compared with last season's $15,917,734, a decrease of 4 percent. Average ontrack daily handle dropped from 260,946 in 2001 to 250,097 this season, a decrease of 4 percent.

Canterbury did not host the Claiming Crown this year. The meet was originally scheduled for 62 days but one full card and half of another were lost to weather-related cancellations, a fact which was reflected in the handle decline, according to track officials.

Canterbury continues to see increases in its handle of full-card simulcasts. This year's average daily handle on simulcasting averaged $251,328, up 9 percent from last season's $229,547.

Jockey Seth Martinez bested two-time leading rider Derek Bell in the closing weeks to win the riders' title with 93 victories. Bell finished a clear second with 85 victories.

Trainer David Van Winkle was the leading trainer with 40 victories. Edward Ross Hardy won the Quarter Horse training title with 20 winners from 60 starts. Fernando Rojas, who rode a good number of Hardy's winners, topped the Quarter Horse jockey standings with 13 victories.