10/08/2009 12:00AM

Louisiana Downs handle drops

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A year after reporting marginal gains, Louisiana Downs experienced an 18 percent drop in average daily handle on its live races during its 83-day meet that closed last Sunday. Attendance figures are not available because the track, which operates a casino, does not charge admission.

Louisiana Downs handled $1,661,827 a day on its races from all-sources this meet, according to figures provided by the Louisiana Racing Commission. Last year, during an 85-date meet, the track's handle on its races from all sources averaged $2,035,607 a day, according to the commission. Louisiana Downs reported last year that its average daily handle was up 2.5 percent from 2007.

Trent McIntosh, the director of racing operations for Louisiana Downs, did not return calls seeking comment on the meet's business levels.

By category, Louisiana Downs handled an average $1,460,487 a day on its races at out-of-state sites, down 18 percent from $1,776,818 in 2008. The track handled an additional $61,382 a day at offtrack betting sites in Louisiana, a dip of 30 percent from the $87,535 bet during the corresponding meet a year ago. Handle ontrack on Louisiana Downs's races averaged $139,958 a day this meet, down 18 percent from $171,254 in 2008.

Jockey Don Simington won his second consecutive Louisiana Downs riding title with 112 wins from 615 starts for meet-best mount earnings of $1,818,252. Jerry Cart was the leading trainer, with 35 wins from 163 starts. Southern Equine Stable was the leading owner, with 15 wins from 58 starts.

Regal Ransom won the richest race of the meet, the Grade 2, $750,000 Super Derby.