Hoosier Park concluded its 11th season of Thoroughbred racing Friday, Nov. 25, with a 30.8% increase in total wagering. The meet offered 57 full days of action, beginning Sept. 3. Hoosier Park was scheduled to offer 60 live racing dates, but was forced to cancel two race cards prior to their completion due to inclement weather. A third race card was cancelled prior to the evening's first post, also due to weather conditions. Total wagering for the 57-day meet reached $100.6 million, an increase of 30.8% over the $76.9 million wagered during the 59-day meet in 2004. Average daily handle from all sources increased by 35.4%, as $1,764,065 was wagered nightly on Hoosier Park's race card compared to an average of $1,303,110 in 2004. Off-track wagering on the 2005 Thoroughbred meet grew by 33.3% to $95.0 million compared to the $71.3 million wagered by off-track patrons a year ago. Average daily on-track wagering fell 1.6%, as $75,118 was wagered nightly by customers at the racetrack in 2005 compared to $76,321 in 2004. An additional $22,229 was wagered nightly on the Hoosier Park card by patrons at the track's OTB locations in Indianapolis, Merrillville and Fort Wayne, an increase of 19.8% over the $18,550 wagered in 2004. Average daily attendance at the racetrack in Anderson, Ind., was 1,178, an increase of 23.4% over last year's average of 955. An average of 9.3 horses went to the gate in 2005, compared to an average of 8.7 in 2004. Average daily purses rose 12.6% in 2005, as horsemen raced for $162,953 per night in 2005, versus an average of $144,756 in 2004. Total purses distributed during the 2005 Thoroughbred Meet equaled $9,288,309, an increase of 8.8% from the $8,540,624 distributed during the 59-day meet in 2004. "Hoosier Park's ability to offer large, competitive fields of horses from the very start of our 2005 Thoroughbred meet in September helped us maintain momentum and produce solid results, despite losing the majority of two race cards and one full night of racing to inclement weather," said Hoosier Park president and general manager Rick Moore. "We appreciate the support of our Hoosier Park horsemen and the excellent work performed by our racing office staff in recruiting horses the entire season. Their combined efforts led to a 6.9% increase in our average starters per race, and contributed to the popularity of Hoosier Park's racing signal with simulcast customers around the country."
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