09/11/2012 12:21PM

Evangeline Downs: All-sources handle up 4.3 percent at meet


OPELOUSAS, La. – Evangeline Downs concluded its 2012 season Saturday night with significant increases in both ontrack and average all-sources handle on the track’s live races.

A total of $115,291,118 was wagered on the 83-day season for an average of $1.39 million per program, an increase of 4.3 percent over last year. Ontrack handle rose 9 percent over a year ago to $5,204,405, from $5,064,557, despite five fewer days of racing.

Field size remained strong as well. A total of 8,145 horses started during the 877 races, for an average of 9.29 runners per race.

Diego Saenz repeated as riding champion, booting home 98 winners from 508 mounts. Colby Hernandez finished second with 87 trips to the winner’s circle, and Gerard Melancon was third with 83.

Karl Broberg was once again leading trainer, sending out 51 winners from 194 starters. Veteran trainers Keith Bourgeois and Sam Breaux finished second and third with 46 and 43 winners, respectively.