06/18/2008 11:00PM

Handle on live races declines

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CALGARY, Alberta - Daily average handle from all sources for the 46 days of live racing at Stampede Park this spring was $208,638, down 3.7 percent from 2007, and average live handle ontrack was $89,315, down 7.25 percent from last year.

With four fewer days of racing, total ontrack handle of $4,108,493 dropped 14.7 percent. Four cards were canceled because of bad weather and track conditions.

Full-card simulcast handle during the 86 calendar days from March 21 to June 15 totaled $11,144,516, up 5.4 percent from a similar 86-day sample last year.

Quincy Welch captured his seventh consecutive riding title with 73 victories, including four stakes. Rickey Walcott was a distant second with 49 wins, including a win aboard Arkhill in the Alberta Derby. Stephan Heiler, leading stakes rider at the meet with five victories, finished third with 38 wins.

Stuart Simon won his first training title by saddling 26 winners from 76 starters, a 34 percent clip, and led the earnings category as well with $249,950.

Robertino Diodoro was second with 21 winners. Greg Tracy and Dale Saunders tied for third with 16 wins apiece.