04/02/2009 11:00PM

Turfway business down all around


The downward spiral continued unabated this winter at Turfway Park, where officials reported substantial decreases in virtually every business category, including all-sources handle, at the winter-spring meet that ended Thursday.

All-sources handle for the meet, which began Jan. 1 at the Florence, Ky., track, grossed $113.6 million from 62 racing dates for an average of $1.83 million per card. Compared with the 2008 winter-spring meet, when 62 dates also were run, that number was down a whopping 25 percent, most of it largely attributable to a 26 percent drop from out-of-state players.

Ontrack handle grossed just over $7 million for an average of $113,226, down 11 percent. Purses averaged $125,017 per card, down 14 percent, while field size dipped from 8.3 starters per race to 7.9, including a paltry 7.1 average in March.

On the racetrack, Victor Lebron finished as the leading rider with 95 wins despite missing the last eight days of the meet with an ankle injury. Mike Maker was the leading trainer with 30 wins from just 69 starts.