10/01/2008 11:00PM

Numbers mixed, Emerald raises purses


Despite a 2 percent decrease in average all-sources handle during its 91-day meeting that ended Sunday, Emerald Downs will distribute a retroactive 4 percent increase in non-stakes purses, the track's president, Ron Crockett, announced Wednesday. The increase will provide horsemen with an additional $300,000 in purses.

Average daily handle from all sources, including bets on incoming simulcasts, was $1,381,572. The handle on Emerald Downs races increased about 3.5 percent to $868,640 per day. But there was an 11 percent decrease in wagering on out-of-state races, to $512,932.

"I think we put on a very good show this year, and it was reflected in the handle on our races," Crockett said. "Emerald Downs races were more appealing to our people and across the nation."

Wasserman, whose Longacres Mile victory crowned his record of 5 wins from 8 starts, including 4 stakes, was named the meet's champion in four different categories. A 6-year-old gelding who is bred, owned, and trained by Howard Belvoir, Wasserman was unanimously voted horse of the meeting, top Washington-bred, top older horse, and top sprinter.

Trainer Tim McCanna and jockey Seth Martinez were the leaders in wins. McCanna won his eighth training title, with a track-record 66 victories, breaking his own mark of 55. Martinez had 122 wins in his first Emerald Downs meet. He defeated two-time defending champion Ricky Frazier by five wins.