09/16/2002 11:00PM

Emerald handle at record level


AUBURN, Wash. - Emerald Downs ended its seventh and most successful season after 91 days of racing on Monday, registering record numbers in total handle and purse distribution.

Total wagering from all sources at the meeting was $114,070,450 for a daily average of $1,253,521, up 11 percent from last year's daily average of $1,128,883. The previous high was $1,241,239 in 1999.

Increases in wagering on simulcasts, spurred by expanded full-card simulcasting, more than offset a slight decrease in handle on Emerald's live racing. The live product drew average daily wagering of $818,432, down 2.4 percent from last year's $838,511.

Average daily purse distribution rose 4.4 percent to $95,153, topping the previous high of $94,180 set in 2000.

* Sabertooth, the upset winner of the Grade 3 Longacres Mile on Aug. 25, confirmed his quality with a 5 1U4-length victory in Monday's closing-night feature, the $60,000 Washington Championship.