Presque Isle Begins Meet With More Exposure
by Tom LaMarra
Date Posted: 5/8/2009 2:43:54 PM
Last Updated: 5/9/2009 10:33:19 AM

Photo: Coady Photography

Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Pa., will begin its 100-night meet May 8 with more exposure for its signal.

Last year, the racetrack exported its signal, but horsemen withheld consent for account wagering contracts. This year, the Presque Isle signal will be available through most ADW providers.

There is a chance at least some of the track’s races will be broadcast on HRTV or TVG. An official with MTR Gaming Group, which owns Presque Isle, said May 8 the company was waiting on signed contracts.

The Web sites of Betpad.com, Phonebet.com, TwinSpires.com, Xpressbet.com, and Youbet.com list Presque Isle among their offerings.

Last year, the track handled a total of $31.4 million over 101 days. Off-track handle was $27.4 million—a figure expected to increase substantially through ADW—while on-track handle on live racing was $3.9 million.

Purse distribution this year is expected to be similar to last year’s figure of $22.2 million. Purses at Presque Isle and other Pennsylvania tracks are fueled by revenue from slot machines.

Presque Isle, which averaged 7.11 horses per race in 2008, will begin its meet with more horses. The opening-night card, for instance, has eight races, none with fewer than 10 horses.

Opening weekend stakes include the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for 3-year-old fillies May 8 and the $100,000 Tom Ridge Stakes for 3-year-olds May 9.

After the first few weeks of the meet, racing will be held Wednesdays through Sundays with first post at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Eight races will be offered per night. The meet ends Sept. 26.



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