10/04/2010 3:29PM

Turfway's average daily handle slips 3 percent


While gross handle fell precipitously because of fewer race dates, average all-sources handle at the Turfway Park meet that ended Sunday was down less than 3 percent, according to figures released Monday by the Florence, Ky., track.

Turfway conducted 16 programs at a meet that began Sept. 9, whereas 22 cards were run during the same time frame in 2009. All-sources handle averaged $1,767,122 this year, versus $1,814,190 for the 2009 fall meet. The gross all-sources handle of $28.3 million, however, was down a whopping 29 percent from the nearly $40 million bet last fall. Average ontrack wagering was $102,173, up less than 2 percent.

Predictably, purses also fell substantially. The average daily purses were $108,637, down 15 percent from last year, although the 2009 numbers include the Kentucky Cup series, which was canceled this year for the first time since its 1994 inaugural. Gross purses this year totaled $1.7 million, down 38 percent from the $2.8 million paid to horsemen last fall. Discounting the three Kentucky Cup races in 2009, average purses were down 2 percent from $110,703.

Turfway has been in a business tailspin for years. Only one stakes race was run the entire fall meet, with two other longstanding stakes besides the Kentucky Cup series being cancelled.

On the racetrack, Perry Ouzts was the leading jockey with 30 wins, while Joe Woodard led all trainers with 19 wins.