05/22/2006 11:00PM

Turf Paradise business up


Turf Paradise's 50th anniversary meeting, which ended Sunday, saw gains in all areas, with the average daily total handle on Turf Paradise races up 7.6 percent from the 2004-2005 meet.

The average daily handle on the live races for the 164-day meet was $1,420,853, compared with $1,320,169 at the previous meeting. The 2004-2005 meeting was 160 days after seven were lost to bad weather. This meet, originally scheduled for 166 days, had two cards scrapped because of bad weather.

The track's daily average on all racing - live and imported simulcasts - was $2,174,497, up 7.1 percent from last season's $2,030,132.

This season's average daily attendance was 2,180, up 2.4 percent from the 2,127 in 2004-05.

Miguel Hernandez, 40, won his first riding title, notching 119 victories on all breeds, just edging Glen Corbett's 117. Troy Bainum successfully defended his Thoroughbred training title at Turf Paradise, with 68 victories. Jim Hill was the leading owner with 32 wins.

Muir Beach, owned by Dennis E. Weir and trained by Dan L. McFarlane, was named horse of the meet for the second consecutive season. Muir Beach won 4 of his 7 starts at the meeting, finishing second twice and third in his other start. He closed out the meet with victories in the Cactus Flower and Desert Sky handicaps.

Racing returns to Turf Paradise Oct. 6 for a scheduled 156 days.