10/31/2010 9:40AM

Ontrack wagering increases nearly 9 percent at fall meet


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ontrack business was up, while all-sources handle was down marginally during the 17-day fall meet that ended Saturday at Keeneland.

Buoyed in part by terrific weather for virtually the entire meet, ontrack attendance averaged 13,524 and was up nearly 20 percent over corresponding dates at the 2009 fall meet, while ontrack wagering, including imported simulcasts, averaged just more than $1.1 million per card, up nearly 9 percent. However, wagering from all sources averaged $6,916,954, down 1 percent.

Keeneland officials said they were pleased with how the meet went.

“We are thrilled with this fall meeting,” track president Nick Nicholson said.

Field size was a boon to business, with more than 9.9 starters per race. Per-day purse payouts were not immediately available but were expected to average about $600,000.

On the racetrack, Julien Leparoux was easily the leading jockey with 27 wins, marking the fifth time the 27-year-old Frenchman has won or shared a Keeneland riding title. Ken McPeek won a race on closing day for his 10th victory, one more than Wayne Catalano, making McPeek the leading trainer for the second straight fall. The Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge Jr. led all owners with six wins.