12/01/2003 1:00AM

Total handle declines at Hastings


The total handle on live racing at the Hastings meet that ended Sunday was $54,295,386, down 8.6 percent from last year. With eight fewer days and 92 fewer races, however, the per-race average was up 3.7 percent.

An increase of 4.3 percent in simulcast wagering helped offset the losses in the live handle, and the combined total of $177,842,389 was roughly equal to last year's $177,838,214.

Attendance figures are not taken at Hastings, but the track recorded an ontrack per-race handle increase of 12.3 percent for the live product.

With 124 wins, Pedro Alvarado was the leading jockey for the second year in a row. Dino Condilenios took his first training title with 38 wins. Nicky Wright was the leading apprentice rider at the meet and second in the overall standings.