09/04/2006 11:00PM

Meet figures at Ellis Park down


Average daily handle from all sources was down at the Ellis Park meet that ended Monday despite a reduction in race dates.

Daily handle at the 36-day meet averaged $2,679,596, a 5 percent decrease from the $2,816,343 average during the 41-day 2005 meet. The gross all-sources handle of $96.4 million was down 17 percent from last year.

Ontrack handle and attendance averaged $320,045 and 3,519, for respective increases of 5 and 20 percent, but those figures were not enough to offset the overall downward trend.

Field size and purses also were down compared to last year. Fields averaged 7.34 horses, down from 7.97 in 2005, while gross purses were $5 million, down 15 percent from $5.9 million. The per-day purse average of $137,680 was down nearly 4 percent.

The most notable milestone at the meet came with the July 17 announcement that the 84-year-old track is being sold by Churchill Downs Inc. to Louisville businessman Ron Geary. The sale is scheduled to close this fall.

On the track, Miguel Mena was the leading rider with 45 wins, while Ralph Martinez led all trainers with 17 wins.