04/27/2009 11:00PM

Keeneland handle declines


In line with the downward trends being registered throughout the North American racing industry, daily all-sources wagering was down substantially at the 15-day Keeneland spring meet that ran April 3 through Friday, according to figures released Monday by the Lexington, Ky., track.

The average all-sources handle was $8,074,957, down 14.2 percent from the 2008 spring meet, when 16 programs were offered. Gross wagering for the 2009 meet was $121.1 million, down 15 percent from the $143 million bet at the 2008 meet.

Aggregate wagering at North American racetracks has undergone a double-digit percentage decline for nearly a year, in conjunction with the slumping world economy.

The average ontrack attendance of 16,050 was the second-highest in track history and was up 5 percent over last year, while average ontrack handle (including simulcast imports) of $1,565,093 was down 3.6 percent last year. With one fewer date, gross attendance of 240,755 was down just 1 percent from last year, and gross ontrack handle of $23.5 million was down 5 percent.

Per-day purses averaged $601,906, once again among the highest in North America.

On the racetrack, Julien Leparoux was the leading rider, Bill Mott the leading trainer, and Augustin Stable the leading owner.

Correction:An earlier version of this article reported erroneous figures distributed by Keeneland. The daily all-sources average handle was down 14.2 percent, not nearly 10 percent, and ontrack handle was down 3.6 percent, not up 1 percent.