The 66-day meet at Prairie Meadows produced a 5.7% increase in average on-track wagering, but a 2.7% decline in total betting due to a dip in wagering from simulcast outlets.
On-track handle for the Iowa track's meet that ended Aug. 13 averaged $57,403 per day, up from $54,321 in 2010. Simulcast wagering on Prairie Meadows’ races dropped 3.6%, to $491,200 per day, resulting in overall average betting of $548,603 per day, down from the 2010 average of $563,786. The track noted that wagering on Thoroughbred races nationwide is down 7% this year.
Prairie Meadows gets about seven times more revenue for a dollar bet on-track versus one bet at a simulcast outlet, according to a release from the track.
“I think we had a lot of positive things this year,” said Derron Heldt, Prairie Meadows’ director of racing. “We had some tough weather, first with the rain and then the heat, so I’m happy with everything. It’s been a real solid meet.”
Terry Thompson claimed his eighth Prairie Meadows riding title since 2000 by winning a record 97 races, breaking his own 2002 record of 94 wins. He won 25.8% of his races, another Prairie Meadows record. With $2,058,869 in earnings, Thompson became the first rider to top $2 million at a Prairie Meadows meet.
Trainer Chris Richard won a record 65 races to better Dick Clark’s 2006 total of 64 wins.
Maggi Moss, Richard’s biggest client, won 38 races to win the leading owner title for the ninth straight year.