09/01/2003 11:00PM

Ellis, Canterbury show gains


Despite ontrack handle being down 10 percent in comparison to 2002 figures, all-sources wagering was up a whopping 27 percent at the 41-day Ellis Park meet that ended Monday, according to figures released by the Henderson, Ky., track.

Daily ontrack handle averaged only $348,418, but that figure was more than offset by the average handle from outside sources. All-sources handle averaged a little over $3,556,000 per day.

Field size at Ellis averaged a robust 9.1 horses, which general manager Paul Kuerzi said was a major factor in the rise in simulcast business. "We feel we provided a strong product that was well received throughout the country," he said.

Despite the rise in simulcast handle, purses were down 3 percent from last year, averaging $186,011 per card. Kuerzi said an overpayment in 2002 purses and weak off-season simulcasting prohibited higher purses.

On the racetrack, Rafael Bejarano was the leading rider with 80 wins, and Kim Hammond became the first female in track history to win an Ellis training title (with 15 winners). Ken and Sarah Ramsey led all owners with nine wins.