12/18/2008 12:00AM

Overall Remington handle slips


Remington Park in Oklahoma City is the latest track to report a decline in average daily handle in an economy that has challenged racing. Purses, however, were up at Remington, which operates a slots casino. The track's 67-date meet closed Sunday.

Remington reported an average handle of $599,528 a day on its races from all sources, which was down 9 percent from the corresponding meet in 2007. Of that amount, an average $514,865 a day was bet on the track's exported signal, down 9 percent, and an average $73,829 a day was bet ontrack, down 5 percent. Remington also handled $10,833 a day on its races at seven offtrack betting sites in the state, up 18 percent.

Scott Wells, vice president of Remington, said that, beyond the nation's poor economy, "Everything from sports betting to tribal competition to offshore competition for the wagering dollar is an additional pressure."

Remington paid out a record $209,335 a day in purses, an average that was up 12 percent.

Steve Asmussen won his fifth Remington training title with 57 wins. His stable earned a meet-best $1,286,423. The leading rider at the meet was Luis Quinonez, who picked up his first local title with 76 wins and led all riders in mount earnings with $1,594,129. Danny Caldwell won the owner title with 13 wins.

Looking ahead, Wells said Remington has created two sprint stakes to be positioned as Breeders' Cup preps, one worth $200,000, and another for fillies and mares worth $100,000. They are slated for Aug. 22. He also said the purse of the Oklahoma Derby on Oct. 18 will be boosted to $400,000, while the MEC Mile for 2-year-olds has been doubled in value to $200,000 and moved to Dec. 13.