A number of factors contributed to record average attendance at Keeneland Racecourse during the 15-day meet that ended Friday. Keeneland reported average attendance for 15 days of racing of 14,649, highest ever for a Keeneland meeting, topping the previous record of 14,521 set during a 16-day meeting in 1988.
"Whenever you see an increase in attendance, it usually can be attributed to a number of factors, not just a single one," said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. "First and foremost, racing secretary Howard Battle and his staff offered top quality racing and fans really responded to that. Second, we were fortunate enough to have TVG broadcasting our races live in the market and I believe that raised the awareness about Keeneland and helped turn out more fans. Third, we tried some new promotions that were well received by the public. And, last but certainly not least, we were blessed with near perfect weather."
The track also set on-track betting records during the meet. Both the total mutuel handle ($25,439,213) and the average daily mutuel handle ($1,695,947) set all-time Keeneland records. The previous records were $24,942,672, set during the 16-day spring meeting in 1998 and $1,662,256 set during the corresponding meeting last year.