10/16/2009 12:00AM

Keeneland handle up so far


In stark contrast to the prevailing downward trends at North American racing, Keeneland has reported an increase in all-sources handle of nearly 10 percent for the first five days at the fall meet.

Through Thursday, wagering on the first five days totaled just more than $37 million, averaging more than $7.4 million daily, a noteworthy increase over the $33.7 million over the corresponding dates last year.

It must be noted, however, that the early increase in handle is partly mitigated by the fact that all-sources handle at the 2008 Keeneland fall meet was down 17 percent from corresponding 2007 dates.

Virtually all major tracks in North America have reported substantial declines, frequently in double digits, in all-sources handle for the last year or so.

The 17-day fall Keeneland meet runs through Oct. 31.