Keeneland Fall Meeting Sets Attendance, Handle Marks

(from Keeneland report)
Keeneland's 17-day fall meeting ended Saturday with records for attendance and pari-mutuel handle.

Attendance totaled 232,382, the highest ever for a Keeneland meeting. The previous record was 232,339, set during the 16-day, 1988 spring meeting. The previous record for the fall was 226,827 for 16 days in 1992.

A fall record $112,703,477 was wagered on Keeneland's races, which topped the previous high of $106,320,964 set last October.

(The figures do not include separate pool handle or incoming simulcasting, which will not be available until Monday.)

A single-day betting record for the fall was set on Oct. 4, when betting totaled $12,006,907 on Keeneland races and incoming simulcasts. It topped the previous record of $11,282,068, set on October 26, 1996.

"Everything fell into place," said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. "It all came together – the weather, the racing with large, competitive fields and the strong stakes races.

"We started with a great weekend of racing and the momentum continued to build. There was a fun, festival feeling that perpetuated itself."

Pat Day won 21 races to win his 18th fall riding title and 21st overall at Keeneland. Tied for second with 15 wins apiece were Robby Albarado and Cornelio Velasquez..

Day, Albarado and Velasquez each won three stakes races.

Nick Zito sent out 11 winners to lead the trainer's standings for the first time in the fall and the second time overall. Two of the wins came in graded stakes – the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) with Eurosilver and the Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) with Najran.

WinStar Farm was the leading owner with six victories.

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