03/22/2012 11:26AM

Delta Downs average daily handle up 4 percent


Delta Downs in Vinton, La., experienced a more than 4 percent increase in average daily handle during its 88-date Thoroughbred meet that closed Saturday night. The track, which is home to the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, handled an average $1,467,689 a day on its races from all sources, compared to $1,405,551 during the corresponding meet a year ago.

The Jackpot program of eight stakes on Nov. 19 produced an all-time handle record for Delta, when patrons bet $4,434,099 on the 11-race card. The previous record had been set during the 2010 Jackpot program, which had an all-sources handle of $3,817,916.

Attendance figures for the meet are not available because Delta, which operates a slots casino, offers free admission. Purses for the meet averaged $240,839 a card, according to officials with Delta.

“We would like to thank all the horsemen and race fans that have made the last five months of racing at Delta Downs such a great success,” said Steve Kuypers, vice president and general manager of Delta.

Jockey Tracy Hebert won his third Delta riding title since the 2006-2007 season with 84 wins from 442 starts. His mounts earned $1.7 million. Karl Broberg won his first Delta training title with 44 wins from 190 starters. His stable earned $679,486. The leading owner with 15 wins was End Zone Athletics, Inc., a partnership between Broberg and Matt Johanson.

Delta opens a Quarter Horse meet on April 27.