10/06/2005 11:00PM

Wagering down at Turfway


The first North America race meet with the all-weather Polytrack surface ended with decreases in wagering handle, but officials at Turfway Park said they were "thoroughly satisfied" with the 22-day fall meet that ended Thursday night at the Florence, Ky., track.

All-sources handle grossed $47.4 million, down nearly 12 percent from corresponding numbers in 2004, but track president Bob Elliston attributed the decline to a poor first week and a decision by the track not to allow certain off-shore betting outlets to wager into Turfway's pools. Field size and quality were down substantially during the first week of the meet because of an unofficial entry boycott by Louisville-based horsemen in response to a change in Kentucky medication policies.

Elliston said the promise of Polytrack more than offsets the temporary setbacks incurred during the fall meet.

Gross ontrack handle of nearly $6.8 million was up 2 percent from last year. Purses averaged $178,136 per card.

On the racetrack, apprentice Dane Kobiskie was the leading rider with 20 wins. Kobiskie, a 26-year-old former Marine, had one more win than Jesus Castanon. Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas led all trainers with eight wins.