04/07/2003 11:00PM

Turfway handle declines

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Turfway Park, beset by poor weather that led to 16 full or partial cancellations, had major declines in total handle and a significant decrease in ontrack handle at the winter-spring meet, which ended April 3.

According to data released Tuesday by the Florence, Ky., track, average all-sources handle of approximately $3.36 million per program remained essentially the same as last year, while the average ontrack handle of $337,305 was down 6 percent from corresponding 2002 figures. Turfway was assigned 66 dates for the meet, which began Jan. 1, but ran only 50 full programs. Last year, Turfway was able to complete 61 of 66 assigned dates. (The track did not figure partial cards into its averages.)

The lost programs translated into a 12 percent decline in total handle from last year. Gross all-sources handle was $197.5 million, while the corresponding total for 2002 was nearly $224.5 million.

Gross purses of $8.84 million were down by 8 percent from 2002. Average daily purses rose 12 percent, to $176,809, since the track ran fewer days.

On the track, jockey Jason Lumpkins and trainer Bernie Flint set records for wins at a single Turfway meet despite all the lost programs. Lumpkins won 111 races and Flint won 44.