07/09/2001 12:00AM

Prairie Meadows's total handle dips 18 percent


ALTOONA, Iowa - The 53-day Prairie Meadows Thoroughbred meeting saw declines in ontrack and total handle.

Ontrack handle for the meet, which ended Saturday night, averaged $84,633 per day, down more than 8 percent from the corresponding meet last year. Total handle averaged $670,093 per day, down more than 18 percent from last year. Prairie Meadows, which also has a casino, does not charge an admission fee or release attendance figures for horse racing.

The meet had a record purse distribution. Average purses per day were over $200,000, including Iowa-bred supplements.

On the racetrack, Terry Thompson won his second straight Prairie Meadows riding title by a 68-52 margin over Luis Quinonez and Glenn Corbett, who tied for second. The standings nearly mirrored last year when Thompson won the title with Quinonez finishing second and Corbett third.

Stanley Roberts saddled three winners on Saturday's 12-race program to secure his first Prairie Meadows training title, by a 31-27 margin over Dick Clark, the track's all-time leading trainer. Don Von Hemel finished third, sending out 21 winners from just 80 starters.

Highlights also included Euchre's victory in the meet's premiere event, the Grade 3, $400,000 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap on closing night, as well as Iowa-bred Sure Shot Biscuit's four-race winning streak, which included a repeat win in the $75,000 Precisionist Handicap against open company. The win streak was snapped when the 5-year-old gelding finished third in the Cornhusker.