07/03/2017 11:36AM

Churchill spring meet handle up 6.9 percent


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – All-sources handle at the Churchill Downs spring meet that ended Friday night was up 6.9 percent over the corresponding 2016 meet, according to figures released Monday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Gross wagering was $419,165,824, up from the $392 million handled last spring. Both meets consisted of 38 days. All-sources handle last spring was up nearly 4 percent over the corresponding 2015 meet, which also was 38 days.

Average per-day wagering at the 2017 meet was $11,030,680, with that number boosted, as always, by Kentucky Derby Day, when a record $209 million was wagered on a 14-race card.

Per-day purses averaged nearly $559,591, down less than 1 percent from the 2016 spring meet, according to a Churchill release. Total purses were more than $21.2 million. Overnight purses underwent a 10 percent increase for the final 15 days of the meet.

Average field size for the 372 races was 8.06 horses, essentially the same as last spring, while favorites won at a 36 percent clip (135 for 372).

All-sources handle on the 11-race closing-night card was $6,160,945, including $762,462 wagered on the Single 6 mandatory payout pool. Handle for the card was down 27 percent from closing night of the 2016 meet, which was a Saturday, when more than $8.4 million was bet, including more than $2.2 million in the Single 6.

On the racetrack, Corey Lanerie was the leading jockey for the 13th time with 58 winners. Steve Asmussen led all trainers with 23 winners for a record-extending 18th Churchill meet title, while Maggi Moss was the leading owner for the fourth time with 11 winners.

This was the first of three 2017 meets at Churchill. The September meet runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 and the fall meet from Oct. 29 to Nov. 26.