04/12/2005 11:00PM

Turfway business down


While ontrack business remained essentially the same, the average daily handle from all sources on races at the Turfway Park winter-spring meet that ended last Friday declined 20 percent from corresponding dates in 2004, primarily because track officials refused wagers from New York City Off-Track Betting and various rebate shops.

From 61 racing dates (581 races), all-sources handle on Turfway races grossed $122.7 million, down 11 percent from the $138.3 million handled during corresponding dates in 2004, when 55 racing dates (564 races) were held. The 20 percent decline in average all-sources handle brought the daily figure to $2,011,005 from last year's average of more than $2.5 million.

Turfway's president, Bob Elliston, said offtrack business was down by such a substantial amount because the suspended outlets accounted for $10.8 million in handle last year. Elliston said no wagers were accepted from New York OTB because of a hosting-fee dispute, while the rebate shops were those implicated in recent federal indictments involving money laundering and tax evasion.

Ontrack handle on Turfway races grossed $7,564,630 for a per-day average of $124,010, up less than 1 percent over last year. The total purse payout was $8,126,361, down from the 2004 total of $8,938,320.

On the racetrack, Greg Foley was the leading trainer with 25 wins, and Dean Sarvis led all jockeys with 91 wins.

Seven full cards and four partial cards were canceled because of weather.