From Turfway Park
Turfway Park ended its 2008 winter/spring meet with declines in wagering on its races both on track and from all sources.
On-track handle on Turfway races was $7,906,448, down 10.4% from the same period in 2007. Wagering on Turfway races from all sources was $150,672,555, down 9.6%.
The 2008 meet ran 62 days from Jan. 1-April 3. Extreme cold and a March weekend snow storm forced the cancellation of all races on six days and one race on a seventh day. Two Monday cards were added, and cards on other days were extended to bring the total number of races run to 624, the same as in 2007.
Purses paid held steady at $9,028,063 for the meet; the daily average dropped 3.3% to $145,614. Field size was 8.3 horses per race compared with 8.1 in 2007.
Jockey Victor Lebron ran away with his first Turfway riding title, scoring 79 wins from 429 mounts and purse earnings of $983,166. Tommy Pompell was second with 60 wins, nine better than Orlando Mojica and John McKee, who tied for third with 51 wins each. McKee earned his 1,000th career victory late in the meet.
Mike Maker saddled 22 winners from 64 starters—a 34% clip—to earn his second and his second straight Turfway training title. He also had 10 seconds and nine thirds, driving his in-the-money performance to 64%, with $402,548 in purse earnings. Kim Hammond was second with 17 wins. Rodney Faulkner finished third with 14 wins.
Kentucky’s perennial leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey again led the Turfway owner standings with 12 winners from 32 starters and purse earnings of $256,113. Next in line were Billy Hays and R and P Racing Stables Inc. (Rodney and Peggy Faulkner), tied with seven wins each.
Turfway remains open for full-card simulcasts five or six days and nights per week depending on racing schedules. Live racing will return to Turfway Sept. 3.