10/01/2007 12:00AM

New track averages $585K in daily handle

EmailThe inaugural 25-day meet at Presque Isle Downs, the Erie, Pa., racetrack offering slots-enriched purses, attracted an average of $585,680 a day in wagering from all sources. Purse distribution, estimated before the meet at $500,000 a day, averaged $432,074. The meet began Sept. 1 and ended on Saturday.

The track was the first to use a Tapeta synthetic surface, which was generally well received by trainers and jockeys, said Debbie Howells, the track's director of racing at Presque Isle Downs.

"There are a lot of trainers that are staying here for a while," she said. "They want to keep training over the surface."

Three horses were euthanized during the meet, all as a result of injuries during a race.

The reason for the discrepancy in purse distribution was that some higher claiming and allowance races didn't fill. The remaining purse money will be carried over to next year's 100-day meet.

A daily average of $58,257 was bet ontrack on Presque Isle races. The offtrack daily average was $527,423. Field size averaged 8.79 horses per race. Officials estimated attendance at 2,851 a day.

On the track, Miguel Mena, a 20-year-old native of Peru, won the jockey title with 35 wins. The runner-up, Corey Lanerie, had 18.

Tom Amoss won the trainers title with 12 wins, two more than Steve Asmussen, who led in earnings at the meet with more than $847,000.