05/01/2006 11:00PM

Solid gains at Keeneland


Business was up across the board at the spring meet that ended Friday at Keeneland, with wagering from all sources during the 15-day meet surpassing $143.4 million, the most in the 70-year history of the Lexington, Ky., track.

The all-sources handle, which includes wagering at Keeneland on simulcast imports, exceeded the former track record of $142.4 million set during the 15-day spring meet of 2004 and far outstripped the $129.2 million bet during the 16-day spring meet of 2005.

Average daily handle was a record $9,563,961, representing an 18 percent increase over last spring. Ontrack handle, not including simulcast imports, averaged $1,455,534, up 7 percent, while ontrack attendance totaled a record 244,145, yielding an average of 16,276, which was up 11 percent. Ontrack wagering on simulcast imports was down 12 percent, the track reported.

Daily purses averaged $641,253, narrowly surpassing the $639,204 average for last spring.

Keeneland officials attributed the business increases primarily to good weather and quality racing.