09/23/2003 11:00PM

Numbers up at Kentucky Downs


Kentucky Downs ended its six-day meeting Tuesday, and its average business figures were up substantially over the corresponding seven-day meet last year.

Primarily because of a surge in offtrack handle from New York, where more lenient simulcast regulations permitted considerably more exposure to the Kentucky Downs signal this year, average daily handle from all sources was $1,637,054, up 19 percent from last year.

The gross all-sources handle of $9,822,324 was up 2 percent from last year, even though one of seven scheduled racing programs was lost to weather. Kentucky Downs general manager Ryan Driscoll said purse funds from the Monday card, which was canceled because of unsafe track conditions caused by heavy rain, likely would be folded into the purse structure for the 2004 meet. Complicated logistics precluded a makeup day this fall at the turf-only track in Franklin, Ky.

Taking into account the lost day, average ontrack handle was about $62,300, up by 11 percent from last year.

On the racetrack, Ken McPeek led all trainers with four wins even after one of his horses, Art Variety, was disqualified from first in the biggest race of the meet, the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf. Jockey Brice Blanc won the riding title with five wins, one more than Rafael Bejarano and Calvin Borel.