09/08/2009 11:00PM

Columbus handle jumps


The Columbus race meet closed out its season on Monday with a significant increase in handle.

Racing was conducted on a Friday-through-Sunday basis, with Thursdays added mid-meet. The meet began July 24.

Part of a Friday-night card was lost because of thunderstorms, and a Sunday card was canceled after the first race, making for a total of 22 days of racing. A year ago, racing was conducted Thursday through Sunday with 24 days of racing.

Total handle for the meet increased 11 percent despite racing two fewer days with $2,171,922 wagered on the live cards from all sources. Last year's figure was $1,950,992. The daily average for the live meet from all sources was $98,724, up 21 percent from $81,291 a year ago.

The race for leading jockey ended in a three-way tie. Damon Leeds and Jesus Ponce were both shut out on Sunday and Monday, while Luis Ranilla rode the last four winners of the meet to tie the top pair with 21 wins. Ponce also shared the leading rider title at Fonner Park this spring with Chris Fackler.

Rick Bogdanovich, who took out his trainer's license at Lincoln this year, finished atop the trainer standings with 12 wins while Mark Lemburg was second with 10.

* The featured race on Friday's card at Horsemen's Atokad Downs is a $5,000 starter allowance for Nebraska-breds with a purse of $10,000. Yolly's Charm seeks his third straight win in a field of 10. First race post time Friday is 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday will feature six-race cards with a 2 p.m. first post each day.