09/03/2013 2:31PM

Ellis Park handle drops


All-sources handle was down 17 percent at the 29-day meet that ended Monday at Ellis Park in western Kentucky.

Daily all-sources handle averaged $1,189,274, a stark decline in comparison to figures for the 2012 meet. Ellis officials said in a media release that the decrease could be partly attributed to a saturated simulcast market that included Gulfstream Park running a summer meet for the first time and the closure of three offtrack betting locations in Kentucky.

Average daily attendance at a meet that began July 4 was 3,868, an increase of 5 percent from 2012, while the average daily ontrack handle of $184,107 was down 8 percent.

Field size averaged 8.1 horses per race, down slightly from the 8.4 average last year.

On the racetrack, Roberto Morales was the leading jockey with 26 winners, followed by Corey Lanerie with 25 and Brian Hernandez Jr. with 23. Dale Romans had a late flurry of winners to take the training title by a 9-8 margin over Claudie Godsey, while Gary Tussey was the leading owner with 7 wins.

Ellis Park purses are funded in part by Instant Racing video gaming machines, which became operational on Aug. 31, 2012.