07/28/2009 11:00PM

Handle drops at Colonial meet


Average daily handle on the race cards at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., plummeted more than 30 percent compared with last year during the track's recently completed 40-day meet, according to figures provided by the track.

Average handle was $780,365 a day during the meet, compared with $1,118,734 during last year's 45-day meet, according to the track's figures. The decline was almost exclusively tied to a 35 percent drop in handle from off-site sources, where handle fell from $960,834 a day last year to $627,850 this year.

Colonial Downs was blacked out on a number of large national account-wagering sites and at the racetracks and offtrack betting locations controlled by Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment because of a dispute with the site's operators over the requirements of a state law that went into effect July 1, four weeks after Colonial's meet started.

Ontrack, business held even with last year's results, with average handle at $128,141, up 1 percent from last year.

Field size, at 8.93 horses per race, also remained strong, at a track that is known for attracting large fields to its turf races, which represented 72 percent of the races run at the track this year.