12/06/2005 1:00AM

Purses nearly match handle at Zia


Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., closed out its inaugural meet Sunday and handled an average of $270,000 a day on its races during its mixed meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. Purses for the meet averaged $257,000 a day, fueled in large part by the 675 slot machines in operation at Zia.

Ontrack, Zia handled about $100,000 a day on its races, with the remaining $170,000 a day generated at offtrack sites. Zia's largest handle day was Nov. 6, when $660,000 was bet on the New Mexico Cup Day card. Attendance figures are not available for the meet because Zia does not charge admission.

Ken Tohill won the inaugural riding title with 52 wins from 181 mounts and meet-best mount earnings of $1,075,549. The leading trainer was Henry Dominguez, who won 17 races from 88 starters for stable earnings of $354,425.

Zia will race 50 dates next year, from Sept. 22 through Dec. 11. This year's 44-date meet began Sept. 23.