04/02/2012 3:32PM

Turfway Park's business down at winter-spring meet

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Turfway Park ended its winter-spring meet Sunday with double-digit decreases in gross all-sources and ontrack handle.

Officials at the Florence, Ky., track reported all sources handle of $81.8 million during the 44-day meet that began Jan. 1, a decrease of 11 percent from the total amount bet during the corresponding 2011 dates, when 47 dates were run. The average daily all-sources handle of $1,860,501 was down 5 percent.

Ontrack handle grossed $4.7 million, down 16 percent from last year, with the average handle of $107,192 down nearly 11 percent.

The average field size dropped slightly, from 8.5 to 8.1 starters per race, while the daily purse payout of $126,744 was up less than 2 percent from last year.

Purses were cut by 25 percent late in the meet, just as the news came that no progress had been made yet again in the Kentucky legislature regarding alternative gaming at state racetracks. Turfway long has claimed it is at a competitive disadvantage in large part because of the nearby riverboat casinos in Indiana.

On the racetrack, Mike Maker was the leading trainer with 27 wins, while Victor Lebron was easily the leading rider with 67 wins. Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays led all owners with 20 wins.