07/05/2004 11:00PM

Prairie Meadows handle up


Prairie Meadows ended its 49-day Thoroughbred meeting Sunday with across-the-board increases in handle.

Average daily ontrack handle was $79,777, a 9 percent increase from $72,999 in 2003's 52-day meet. All-sources daily average handle was $793,160, up 20 percent from 2003. The increase can be in part attributed to racing four days per week this year as opposed to five in 2003, when Sunday racing was conducted on a regular basis.

Prairie Meadows does not release attendance figures, because its casino is open 24 hours a day and no admission fee is charged.

On the track, veteran jockey Tim Doocy won the riding title in his first full season at Prairie Meadows by a 78 to 61 margin over the four-time defending champion, Terry Thompson. Thompson missed the final weekend of racing and will be out indefinitely after breaking his right leg in a three-horse spill June 29.

Dick Clark, the all-time leading trainer at Prairie Meadows, easily defended his 2003 title by a 52-35 victory margin over the 2002 champion, Stanley Roberts. Kelly Von Hemel finished third with 32 victories as the top three finished in the same order as last year.