11/23/2004 1:00AM

Hoosier Park handle declines


Ontrack and total handle on Hoosier Park's live racing product declined at this year's Thorough-bred meet, which ended Sunday.

Ontrack handle at the 59-day meet dipped 8 percent, with an average of $51,763 wagered this year. Sale of the track's simulcast signal and total average handle on the live product were both down 11 percent from last year's 70-day meet. Offtrack handle on the live races averaged $1,221,009 this year compared with $1,378,173 in 2003. The total average handle was $1,272,772 this year, down from $1,433,434.

Ralph Martinez dominated the trainer standings, while his first-call rider, Ramsey Zimmerman, held on despite missing three weeks with an injury to earn his first Hoosier Park riding title.

Martinez fell just short of his 2003 record mark of 66 wins with 62 this year. Kim Hammond was second with 28.

Zimmerman finished with 92 victories, while Lester Knight posted 16 wins in the final week to finish with 88.