10/28/2009 12:00AM

Fort Erie handle drops


Fort Erie Race Track ended its 78-day race meet on Tuesday with a drop in average daily handle and total handle compared with 2008.

The average daily handle on live racing from all sources at the 78-day meet was $721,221, a drop of 9.8 percent from the average of $799,945 in 2008. The daily handle ontrack averaged $60,763, down 10.3 percent, while the off-site average was $660,457, down 12.3 percent.

The average number of runners per race in 2009 was 8.2 compared with 7.7 in 2008, and the purse distribution was down 5.18 percent to $8,636,650.

* Fort Erie and the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have agreed on a 2010 meet of 78 days and are in discussions on how to fund it. Among the possibilities are a sale of the track or a lease arrangement of the facility.