12/03/2002 12:00AM

U.S. money boosts Woodbine

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A 20 percent increase in wagering from the United States helped boost the total handle on Woodbine's 166-day live Thoroughbred meeting this year to $363,780,210. That is a 5.5 percent gain over the amount for a 165-day meet in 2001, according to figures released Tuesday by the Woodbine Entertainment Group.

The U.S. input on the meeting jumped to $146.9 million, up from $122.4 million a year ago.

There were slight declines in the Canadian markets, with Toronto-area wagering dropping by 1.8 percent to $146 million and wagering from other parts of the country dipping 3.5 percent to $71 million.

Telephone account wagering, however, continued its strong growth, increasing to $15.6 million from $11.9 million last year.

Purses at Woodbine meeting have increased steadily since the introduction of the ontrack slot machine program in March 2000.

This year, total purses for the meeting reached $89,691,130, a 14 percent increase from the $78,589,173 distributed last year. The daily average distribution this year was $540,308.

Patrick Husbands was the top rider at the meeting in both races and money won, finishing with 167 winners and $9,222,378. Todd Kabel was second in both categories, with 130 winners and $8,533,022.

Chantal Sutherland, who rode as an apprentice until Aug. 3, finished third in races won with 124. Emile Ramsammy was third in money won, with $7,088,188.

Mark Casse was the leading trainer, with 69 victories. Bob Tiller was next with 66 and Roger Attfield third with 55.

Stronach Stable was the top owner with 58 victories. Mockingbird Farm was second with 39.

Wake at Noon, Cheap Talk, Air Cool, and Vany's Forum all won six races to dead heat as winningest horse at the meeting.