04/25/2014 7:58PM

Keeneland handle down despite record attendance


LEXINGTON - Average all-sources handle during the 15-day Keeneland spring meet dropped 7 percent compared to last year despite record attendance and a sharp uptick in ontrack wagering, according to figures released on Friday after the last card of the meet.

Average all-sources handle was $9.20 million, well below last year’s average all-sources handle figure of $9.92 million, according to the figures. Average ontrack handle, however, was up 6.9 percent to $1.26 million.

The ontrack handle figure was helped by record attendance at the track. Average attendance was 18,003, Keeneland said, beating the record set in the 2012 spring meet. Total attendance was higher in the 2013 spring meet, but that meet had 16 days.

The average was boosted by attendance of 39,722 on Blue Grass Stakes Day and attendance of 34,933 one week later, both Saturdays.

Julien Leparoux took the rider’s title with 19 wins, but the more remarkable number may have been set by Stewart Elliott, who won 15 races, including three on closing day, during his first time riding full-time at the track. The trainers’ title was won by Mark Casse, who had 11 wins.