12/06/2001 1:00AM

Woodbine average handle up 14 percent


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wagering from all sources on Woodbine's 165-day Thoroughbred meeting has checked in at $344 million, a healthy increase from the $293 million total last year.

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

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 had received a huge boost with the introduction of 1,700 slot machines here 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.

On the racetrack, jockey Todd Kabel captured his third Woodbine title by riding 145 winners, five more than two-time defending champion Patrick Husbands. Emile Ramsammy, with 130 winners, ended third.

Husbands was the leading rider in money-won with $7,465,297. Kabel stood second with $7,030,422 and Ramsammy third with $6,260,236.

Bob Tiller was leading trainer here for the third time with 62 wins, and also topped the money-won list with $3,481,653. Mike Wright Jr. stood second with 58 winners and Roger Attfield, Mark Casse, and Abraham Katryan finished in a three-way tie for third with 50 apiece.

Mark Frostad finished second in money-won with $3,373,568 and Attfield was third with $3,353,978.

Sam-Son Farm was the leading owner in money won, with $3,241,344. Stronach Stables Inc., second with $3,101,123, topped the races-won list with 48, eight better than runner-up Bruno Schickedanz.