10/10/2005 11:00PM

La. Downs handle sees slight drop


Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., experienced a small drop in average daily handle on its races during the 91-date meet that ended Sunday. All-sources betting on the track's races averaged $1,985,467 a card, down 1.5 percent from $2,016,575 in 2004.

Louisiana Downs's ontrack handle of $199,835 a day on its races was about the same as last year, while offtrack betting on the track's races slipped 1.6 percent to a daily average of $1,785,631.

Louisiana Downs, which lost two weekend dates because of Hurricane Rita on Sept. 24, also lost patronage from Fair Grounds and its OTBs for more than a month this meet after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on Aug. 28.

Cole Norman won his eighth consecutive training title with 92 wins and meet-best earnings of $1,326,297. John Jacinto led all riders in wins (133) and earnings ($2,370,911). Gary and Mary West Stables won the owner title with 17 wins, while the horse of the meet was Zarb's Dahar.