11/27/2015 12:48PM

Field size, handle rise at fall meet


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs has struggled with filling races in recent years, as track officials have consistently cited the competition from tracks with slot machines as the most compelling factor, but this fall was a notable exception to the recent rule. From the Nov. 1 opener through the 12-race finale here Sunday, fields have been inordinately large. Through Thursday (18 of 21 programs), field size averaged 9.4 horses per race, and there still were 36 races – most with big fields – to be run Friday through Sunday.