09/03/2013 2:31PM

Ellis Park handle drops

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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.

DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
I decided not to support the meet upon the news of track management mishandling of the track surface. It was totally avoidable but Geary/Jacksmon made a shortsighted decision thatbnegatively impacted the horses and horse owners. On track attendance up 5%,but on track betting down 8% tells me their local customers gave them a thumbs down in terms of their on track racing product. i suspect patrons would rather play SAR or DelMar than the non-stakes and low Level claiming action. The weather was cooler than normal also which could explain the +5% attendance.Ellis Park has many problems including instant gaming performing at 16% of KY Downs levels. I wish Ellis Park could provide the Kentucky racing circuit a viable bridge between the Churchill spring and fall meet but they are not up to the task.