Louisiana Downs closed its 84&#45;date meet Sept. 26 with a small decline in average daily handle on its races, but a double&#45;digit increase in handle on Super Derby Day. Louisiana Downs, which puts on seven&#45; and eight&#45;race cards for most of the season, handled an average $768,638 a program, down 4 percent from the corresponding meet in 2017, according to figures provided by officials. The average daily handle on its races offtrack was $725,958, and ontrack, $42,679. Handle on the Super Derby Day program of 13 races Sept. 2 was $1,943,318, up 12 percent. Louisiana Downs also reported average handle per race was $109,619, up 3 percent. &ldquo;We are encouraged by the increase in our per&#45;race handle and the momentum we saw at the end of the meet, highlighted by a very strong closing&#45;day handle,&rdquo; Eric Halstrom, director of operations for Louisiana Downs, said in a press release. &ldquo;It remains difficult to attract horses to Northwest Louisiana, and the reduction in the number of races we ran in 2018 is a reflection of that. We will work hard in the months to come to build momentum with both horsemen and patrons for our 2019 live racing season.&rdquo; The number of races was down 7 percent from last year, Halstrom said.