07/14/2002 11:00PM

Handle and attendance edge up


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Lone Star Park concluded its sixth Thoroughbred season Sunday with small gains in average attendance and handle over the same meet in 2001, and Steve Asmussen won seven of the 14 closing-day races to wrap up his fourth consecutive training title.

Attendance during the 70-day season averaged 9,025 a card, up 1.5 percent from a year ago. Handle on the track's races from all sources averaged $2,680,886 daily, up 2.7 percent from last year.

Lone Star handled an average $632,387 a day on its races ontrack, and $2,048,498 offtrack.

Purses at the meet averaged $228,000 a program this year, down from the $240,000 a day paid out in 2001.

Magna Entertainment has an agreement to purchase Lone Star, and that transaction that could take place before the track's Quarter Horse meet opens Oct. 4.

Corey Lanerie clinched his third riding title at the track with 92 wins and mount earnings of $2 million. The leading owner was Ken Murphy, who won his second consecutive Lone Star title with 24 wins and earnings of $545,618.

Asmussen finished the meet to 95 wins, breaking the record of 90 wins in a meet he set in 2001. His stable earned $2.1 million. Cole Norman finished second with 83 wins.

Asmussen's seven-win day came within one win of tying the North American mark for wins by a trainer on a program. J.C. Williams set the national record in 1979 when he won eight races on a card at Waterford Park in West Virginia.

Asmussen's seven wins set a Lone Star record. The previous record for trainer wins on a program was four, which was shared by Asmussen and Cole Norman.

Asmussen won the second race with Corinthian ($3.60), the fifth with Sockitaway ($3), the sixth with Sunshine Classic ($4), the seventh with Wild Market ($13), the ninth with Mountain General ($14.20), the 11th with Term Sheet ($19), and the 12th with Confiding Winner ($8.20).

Asmussen started 17 horses on the card, and swept both closing day stakes: The $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial with Mountain General, and the $84,450 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup with Confiding Winner.