12/07/2001 1:00AM

Woodbine average handle up


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wagering from all sources on Woodbine's 165-day Thoroughbred meeting was $344 million, a healthy increase from the $293 million wagered last year.

The Woodbine Entertainment Group, in a press release Thursday, noted the daily average handle from all sources on live Woodbine racing was $2,085,756, an increase of 14 percent over last year.

Wagering from United States sources continued to rise, with this year's total reaching $106 million, up from $80 million last year. Telephone account wagering contributed $12 million, up from $10 million in 2000.

More than $80 million in purse money was distributed, up from $75 million last year, for an average daily distribution of $485,000. Purses received a boost with the introduction of 1,700 slot machines in March 2000.

This year's average field size for the 1,558 races run was 8.2, up from 8 over the 1,520 races last season.

General admission is free. Woodbine does not keep attendance figures.

On the racetrack, jockey Todd Kabel won his third Woodbine riding title, with 145 winners, five more than two-time defending champion Patrick Husbands.

Bob Tiller was leading trainer for a third time, with 62 wins, and also topped the money list, winning $3,481,653 in purses.