10/09/2009 12:00AM

Turfway handle drops from '08


Turfway Park closed its 22-day fall meet with more discouraging news, as the Florence, Ky., track saw all-sources handle drop by 6 percent over corresponding 2008 dates while ontrack handle fell even further.

The all-sources handle was $39,928,281, down from from the $42.6 million bet during the same 22-day time frame last fall, while the ontrack handle of $2.2 million was down 16 percent from last year. Attendance is free and therefore not officially tracked.

Turfway celebrated its 50th anniversary this fall, but because of enduring financial problems, the track cut several stakes, including two of its Kentucky Cup fixtures on Sept. 26. The track's president, Bob Elliston, said in a Friday release that the weak business is partly reflective of "a difficult time not just for racing but also for the economy as a whole."

On the racetrack, Leandro Goncalves was the leading jockey with 33 wins, while the familiar owner-trainer team of Billy Hays and Joe Woodard led their respective categories with 18 and 19 wins.