07/28/2009 11:00PM

Handle drops at Colonial meet

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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.