05/23/2011 2:11PM

Turf Paradise business numbers mixed


Daily average handle at Turf Paradise was off for the recently concluded meet, with an increase in total ontrack handle and a decrease in total all-sources handle for the 155-day 2010-11 meeting, which ran eight days longer than the 2009-10 meeting. The meet at the Phoenix track began last Oct. 1 and ended May 8.

All-sources daily handle declined 8.6 percent from last year, $1,926,254 to $1,760,574. The daily average ontrack handle slipped 3.6 percent, from $64,192 to $61,840. Total all sources handle was $283,159,305 for 147 days last year, up from $272,888,939 for 155 days this year.

Ontrack handle saw a bump of 2 percent, from $9,436,189 to $9,585,256 this season, over last year’s 147-day meet. Despite the longer meet, all-sources handle decreased 4 percent.

Ontrack attendance was up 6.3 percent with the extra days.

The track’s general manager, Vincent Francia, said that the track’s use of social media – Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter – brought fans to the track.

“The economy’s still a challenge, so we’re pleased and encouraged with this season’s results,” he said.

Jockey Ry Eikleberry and trainer Mike Chambers won their third consecutive divisional titles. Eikleberry dominated the jockey standings, finishing with 154 victories, far clear of Jake Barton, Anne Von Rosen, Scott Stevens, and Lori Keith, who followed in the standings. Chambers’s 71 wins put him well clear of Robertino Diodoro, Miguel Silva, Dan McFarlane, and Tracie Aker. Silva also won his first owner’s title with 36 wins, finishing well ahead of perennial contender Dennis Weir.

All Saint won 4 of 5 starts this meet, all stakes, on his way to capturing horse of the meet honors.