Turfway Park, which cut six racing dates and all but one stakes race, reported a slight increase in average daily on-track wagering and a decline in other handle categories during the 16-day fall meet that ended Oct. 3.
The northern Kentucky track reported daily on-track wagering increased 1.4% from $100,792 last fall to $102,173 this fall. The daily average for all-sources wagering dipped 2.6% from $1,814,190 to $1,767,122.
With the cutback in live racing dates, on-track wagering fell 26.3%, from $2,217,429 for the 2009 fall meet to $1,634,766 this year. All-sources wagering fell 29.2% compared to last fall, from $39,928,281 to $28,273,944.
Cut from the fall meet were the Marfa Stakes and the Weekend Delight Stakes, both carrying $75,000 purses, and the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II, $200,000 purse in 2009), Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III, $175,000), and the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III, $100,000). Only the Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III), a Breeders’ Cup Challenge "Win and You’re In" race, remained on the schedule.
Average daily purses fell 15.1%, from $128,001 to $108,637. Compared to last fall, total purses fell 38.3%, from $2,816,030 to $1,738,187.
The track presented 156 races this fall, compared to 220 last fall. With fewer races to fill, field size rose from 8.5 starters per race to 9.8.
The track released handle and purse numbers that took the Kentucky Cup Day card, when many of the stakes were offered last year, out of the comparison. Disregarding that Saturday in 2009 and the corresponding Saturday in 2010, average daily on-track wagering rose 12.1%, from $90,982 last fall to $102,013 this fall, and average daily all-sources wagering rose 1.7%, from $1,735,536 to $1,765,293.
Factoring in the same exclusions, on-track handle overall dropped 19.9%, from $1,910,614 to $1,530,191, and all-sources wagering overall dropped 27.3%, from $36,446,263 to $26,479,391. Without Kentucky Cup purses figured in, average daily purses fell just 1.5%, from $110,703 to $109,057.
The meet leader titles went to the juggernaut combination of jockey Perry Ouzts, trainer Joe Woodard, and owners Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays.
Ouzts, 56, won 30 races and his first Turfway riding title.
Woodard, who trains primarily for Hays, earned his fourth consecutive leading trainer title with 19 wins from 58 starters. The ownership team of Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays captured their second straight leading owner title with 19 winners
Live racing returns to Turfway Dec. 2.