09/07/2016 10:59AM

Ellis Park all-sources handle rises 9 percent


All-sources handle at the Ellis Park meet that ended Monday was up 9.2 percent, while ontrack handle was down marginally due in part to weather extremes early in the 30-day meet, officials at the western Kentucky track reported this week.

Total handle was nearly $35.3 million, surpassing the $32.3 million bet in 2015. Ontrack wagering totaled $4.67 million, down nearly 4 percent from the $4.84 million bet last year.

Per-day purses averaged about $197,000 per day, up 25 percent, and field size averaged 8.05 horses per race, down slightly from 8.18. Favorites won at a 39-percent rate (102 for 259).

More than 100 of the races were in the maiden-special, allowance, or stakes category, and racing secretary Dan Bork, completing his 10th year at Ellis, said in a release that “the racing was the best since I’ve been here – by far.”

Purses at Ellis are partly funded by the slots-like “historical racing” machines on the grounds and by sister track Kentucky Downs. Track president Ron Geary estimated about 180 machines currently are in use at Ellis, and 300 will be in place next summer.

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On the racetrack, Corey Lanerie was the leading jockey with 26 winners for his third Ellis title, while Steve Asmussen led all trainers with 16 wins and the Allied Racing of Chester Thomas was the top owner with six wins.