04/01/2003 1:00AM

Sam Houston numbers up for meet


With the inaugural Great State Challenge giving Sam Houston Race Park its highest-ever day's handle, the track closed out its 80-day meet Sunday with solid business figures.

The average daily handle on the track's races rose about 3 percent to $2,185,639 this meet, while attendance was constant, with an average of 3,135, compared with 3,131 a year ago. Daily purses rose 4 percent to $116,686.

Sam Houston, open since 1994, handled $5,083,692 on the Great State Challenge, six stakes for statebreds from around the nation.

Terry Stanton and Don Simington shared the riding title with 75 victories, and Steve Asmussen won his third training title with 57 wins. The leading owner was Preston Stables.