07/22/2003 11:00PM

Colonial has record average handle


Colonial Downs, the Virginia track that wrapped up its seventh annual meet on Tuesday, had record average daily handle during this year's 30-day stand, the track announced on Wednesday.

All-sources average wagering was $1,203,009, just barely edging last year's record average of $1,193,669. Total all-sources handle was $36,090,062, also a record.

Average attendance was down .5 percent, however, to 2,193, compared to last year's average of 2,204.

Colonial Downs, located midway between Richmond and Williamsburg, has established itself in the mid-Atlantic region as a good turf racing track that routinely draws full fields. Despite rain that limited the track to running 74 percent of its races on the grass - last year, Colonial carded 91 percent of its races on the turf - average field size was 9.81, compared to 9.25 in 2002.

Ryan Fogelsonger, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey in 2002, took his first Colonial Downs riding title with 42 wins, four more than Mario Pino, a Colonial regular. The 2003 Colonial meet was Fogelsonger's first as a journeyman rider.

Hamilton Smith won his second straight training title, with

17 wins. Ferris Allen, Colonial's all-time leading trainer, finished second with 11 wins.