04/09/2002 11:00PM

Turfway business down again

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Business at Turfway Park continued its slide at the three-month winter-spring meet, which ended April 4 at the Florence, Ky., track.

Average ontrack handle, at $417,389, and all-sources handle, $3,680,049, both were down 4 percent from corresponding dates last year, while ontrack attendance, 1,710 daily, was down 13 percent. Per-day purse payouts slipped 11 percent, to $157,810.

Turfway has been in a business slump since the mid-1990's, when three riverboats within a 30-minute drive became operational. The track's president, Bob Elliston, said the most recent numbers are a continued reflection of the severe competition that Turfway faces.

Elliston was among the racing officials at the forefront of the recent slots initiative that failed to make it to the floor of the Kentucky House at the recently ended session of the General Assembly.