10/19/2016 2:52PM

Handle declines at Delaware Park meet


All-sources handle at the Delaware Park meet, which concluded Saturday, was down 10.3 percent from the 2015 season, according to figures released by the track Wednesday.

Delaware Park handled $93.9 million for an average of $1.16 million per day during its 81-day season, which began in mid-May. In 2015, Delaware handled $104.79 million during the same number of race days.

"The drop in handle was disappointing, but it is a direct indication of the competitive racing environment in the Mid-Atlantic and the ever-increasing conflicting dates from other racetracks in the region," said Kevin DeLucia, the senior vice president of racing/finance at Delaware Park.

Average field size at the meet was up 2 percent to 7.23 horses per race. Last year, Delaware averaged 7.08 horses per race.

Delaware Park and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have signed a contract to hold an 81-day meet in 2017, according to DeLucia. The 2017 season will be the 80th at Delaware Park.

Carol Cedeno won her third consecutive riding title at Delaware Park. Jamie Ness won his fourth training title at the track. Ness also was the leading trainer at Delaware Park in 2012, 2013, and 2015.

Jagger Inc., the stable name under which Ness runs horses he owns, was the leading owner at the meet.