Kentucky Downs Reports Handle Gains

From Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs concluded its 2007 meet with its second-highest on-track handle and third-largest total handle in the racetrack’s 17-year history, officials said closing day, Sept. 25.

On-track handle for six days of racing on the European-style turf course was $444,601, while total handle was $9,618, 208. On-track handle was up 21.2% from 2006, while total handle was up 12.7% from last year, when 12 fewer races were run.

Field size averaged more than nine starters per race.

“Everyone on the Kentucky Downs team worked extremely hard to improve the on-track customer experience, so it was gratifying that our fans responded so enthusiastically,” track president Corey Johnsen said. “I heard numerous compliments about the improved track surface, renovated dining room and sports bar, and video upgrades.”

Riding for the first time at Kentucky Downs, Chicago-based Larry Sterling Jr. captured the leading jockey title with nine wins, and Daniel “Speedy” Smithwick Jr. won his first Kentucky Downs training title with six wins from 15 starts.  David Ross was the leading owner with five wins from 12 starts.

“Earlier in the year, we arrived at the tag line, ‘America’s only European style turf course,’ ” Johnsen said. “Having witnessed an entire six-day live season in the festival-type atmosphere of Kentucky Downs, I am even more convinced that we offer a unique, one-of-a-kind entertainment experience in American Thoroughbred racing.  We will use this season to build upon the future.”

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