10/20/2008 12:00AM

Louisiana Downs handle rises


Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., closed out its 85-date meet on Saturday with a 2.5 percent increase in average daily handle on its races from all sources. Officials reported gains in handle both ontrack and offtrack compared with the corresponding 91-date meet in 2007.

Louisiana Downs handled an average $2,052,311 a day on its races from all sources this meet, up from $2,003,335 in 2007. Of that, the track reported an average of $1,879,963 was bet a day on its races offtrack, up 2 percent, and an average $172,348 a day ontrack, up 6 percent. Attendance is not available because Louisiana Downs, which operates a casino, does not charge admission.

Mark Midland, vice president of racing operations for Louisiana Downs, said an increase in average field size from 8.8 starters to 9.3 helped handle, as did the near-track-record $7.1 million bet on the Sept. 20 Super Derby Day card.

Jorge Lara won his second straight training title with 41 wins. Don Simington won the riding title with 102 wins. Jan Haynes was the leading owner for the second consecutive year with 32 wins.