01/04/2005 12:00AM

Tropical-at-Calder down

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Average handle was down slightly at the 55-day Tropical Park meet that ended Sunday at Calder Race Course in Miami, according to figures released by the track Tuesday.

With two more dates than the corresponding 2003-04 meet, gross handle from all wagering sources rose marginally, to $216 million. Daily all-sources handle on the live racing averaged $4,370,422, down 3 percent from last year. Ontrack handle averaged $441,791 per card, down 5 percent, while average attendance was 4,408, down 8 percent. The figures do not include imported simulcasting.

The Tropical meet followed the regular Calder meet that began in late April and ended in October.

On the racetrack, Eddie Castro, with 83 victories, was the leading jockey. Dan Hurtak was the top trainer with 21 winners, and Mike Sherman led owners with 13 victories.