Unlike 2009, when purses and live racing days were cut, Ellis Park reported solid numbers for its 27-day meet that ended Sept. 6.
According to figures from the Henderson, Ky., racetrack, average daily ontrack wagering rose 7% to $220,110 from $205,646 for the 28-day meet a year ago. Average daily attendance was down slightly to 3,676, compared with 3,698 in 2009.
Ellis Park reported all-sources wagering of $43,754,453 in 2010, for a daily average of $1,619,636. That represented a 5.8% decline from the 2009 average of $1,666,952 per day.
The track reported average starters per race rose from 9.2 in 2009 to 9.6 this year.
"I have been overwhelmed by the continued outpouring of support from our local and regional fans," Ellis Park owner and president Ron Geary said in a release, noting the meet was conducted during a record hot summer in western Kentucky.
Purses averaged $170,895 per day, up 19.6% from $137,337 in 2009. Ellis Park used more than $440,000 in holdover Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund money to boost purses for maiden special weight and allowance races this summer.
Dr. Mary Scollay-Ward, equine medical director for Kentucky, said there were six catastrophic (fatal) injuries to horses during the Ellis meet, the same number as in 2009.
Mike Maker was leading trainer with 15 winners and Owen Rainwater and Herman Van Den Broeck tied for leading owner honors, with four wins each. Jockey Corey Lanerie’s 33 winners sewed up that title for him, and the 19 wins for Orianna Rossi made her leading apprentice.
Ellis will close its stable area for the rest of the year, effective Sept. 17 and it will shut down its simulcast operations for the year on Sept. 30. TA release said those moves would necessitate the laying off of approximately 75 employees.