09/13/2011 11:11AM

Marquis Downs posts 11.6 percent gain in handle


Marquis Downs showed an 11.6 percent increase in handle for its 2011 meeting which ended last Saturday, with $951,201 wagered over the 28 racing days compared to $852,128 last year.

The daily average handle on the live racing, from all sources, was $33,971, an increase of 11.6 percent from 2010. Last year’s daily average, also based on a 28-day meeting, was $30,434. Both meetings had been scheduled for 30 days but lost two days to weather-related issues.

Rick Fior, manager of racing for Marquis Downs, attributed the gains to better weather and the fact that Marquis Downs had joined Woodbine’s HorsePlayer Interactive network this year.

Marquis Downs previously had not exported its signal but had streamlined its races live on its website this year and online wagering was available across Canada.

Fior also said that Marquis had maintained a healthy average field size of 8.23, down slightly from last year’s 8.31 figure.

On the racetrack, Naim Samaroo won 39 races to top the jockey standings for the second straight year. Neville Stephenson finished second with 32 wins and Christopher Jadoo was next with 29.

Judy Hunter was the leading trainer with 24 wins, seven more than runner-up Don Bjiarnson with Lane Gardipiy another win back in third.

Redbird Farm led the owner’s standings with 17 wins and Bethune was the winningest horse at the meeting with a 5-for-9 record.