10/16/2013 6:14PM

Fort Erie: Average handle climbs 13 percent


ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Fort Erie’s 41-day meeting wound up Tuesday with a total handle of $24,893,884 for a daily average handle of $607,168 from all sources, a 13 percent increase from last season.

There were 74 racing days at Fort Erie last year, with the comparable figures being $537,514 for the daily average and the total handle $39,776,037.

Tom Valiquette, Fort Erie’s chief financial officer, released comprehensive figures which also included a per-race handle of $7,363 this year on 388 races, a 15 percent increase over the $6,389 average on the 974 races in 2012.

Ontrack handle thrived, increasing 32 percent with a daily average of $69,683 from a total of $2,856,991.

Last year’s ontrack numbers were $52,756 for the daily average and $3,903,934 for the total.

Average field size this year dipped slightly from 7.53 to 7.24, according to Daily Racing Form statistics.

On the racetrack, jockey Kirk Johnson rode 48 winners and trainer Julie Robillard sent out 21 winners for their first meet titles.

Terry Husbands ended second in the jockeys’ race with 41 wins while Juan Crawford ended third with 35 victories.

Trainers Ken Albu, John Simms, and Daniel Wills finished in a triple dead heat for second in their category with 17 victories apiece.

Six Brothers Stable led the owners’ standings with 12 wins, three more than runner-up Jeanne Ryan.

Gary McMaster, A & G Racing Stable, and Julie Robillard tied for third with seven wins apiece.

Sports Selection, with 5 wins from 8 starts, was the best in that category.

Uncaptured’s victory in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes made him the leading money-winning horse at the meeting with $300,000.

The Prince of Wales was run on a Tuesday evening for the first time this year and the nine-race card generated a handle of $1,332,764.

Last year, when the Prince of Wales was run on its traditional Sunday date, $1,158,157 was wagered on an 11-race program.