Edited news release
Turfway Park closed its four-month Winter/Spring Meet April 7 with mixed results, as on-track handle held steady but off-track wagering slipped compared to the same period last year.
Part of the drop in total off-track wagering can be traced to two changes in Turfway's simulcast operations: one, track administrators chose to refuse wagers from rebate shops mentioned in connection with federal indictments involving money laundering and tax evasion; and two, administrators declined to send the Turfway signal to New York OTB, a network of off-track betting locations, when agreement regarding hosting fees could not be reached.
During the same meet in 2004, combined wagering from the rebate shops and New York OTB was $10.8 million.
Said Turfway Park president Robert Elliston, "Like many tracks throughout North America, we had to make some tough decisions regarding the trade-off of short term gains and what is really the responsible thing to do for all of our patrons, and our ownership interests."
On-track wagering on Turfway Park races for the 2005 Winter/Spring Meet increased 0.7 % to $7,564,630 over last year; total on-track wagering came in at $22,681,001, up very slightly but statistically unchanged from 2004. Fueled by the loss of wagers from the four suspended outlets and New York OTB, out-of-state handle dropped 11.6 %. Overall, total wagering on Turfway Park races was down 11.3 %.
Wagering on Turfway's races on Lane's End Stakes Day, annually the highlight of the Winter/Spring Meet, increased over figures for the same event in 2004. On-track wagering for the day was $1,207,324, a 6.3 % increase. The amount wagered on Turfway's races by fans at simulcast locations both in Kentucky and out of state rose 4.9 %. Considering bets placed on Turfway Park's live races from all sources, wagering for the day grew 5.1 % to $7,545,734.
Field size for the Winter/Spring Meet averaged 8.3 horses per race, on par with the same meet last year.
Turfway annually deals with weather-related cancellations during its winter racing season, and 2005 was no exception. Over the four-month meet, four cards were cancelled after two or more races had been run, and seven full cards were cancelled.
Gregory Foley topped the Turfway Park trainer standings for the Winter/Spring Meet with 25 wins, 16 seconds, and 14 thirds from 96 starters for purses of $458,760.
Repeating his success in the 2004 Holiday Meet, Dean Sarvis took leading jockey honors for the 2005 Winter/Spring Meet with 91 wins from 335 starts, 55 seconds and 29 thirds for earnings of earnings of $1,090,173.
Louis O'Brien earned the leading owner title with eight wins, four seconds, and three thirds from 18 starters for purses totaling $52,598.
Live racing will return to Turfway Sept. 7. In the meantime, the track remains open for simulcasting each Wednesday through Sunday.