Keeneland Sets All-Sources Handle Mark

Keeneland Sets All-Sources Handle Mark
Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography
The Ramseys' win in the Elkhorn Stakes marked their eighth graded stakes victory, for which they earned a gold tray.

Keeneland concluded its 2013 spring race meeting April 26 with a number of records, including all-sources handle and most wins by an owner, trainer, and jockey.   

All-sources wagering on Keeneland's 16-day meeting was a record $158,640,589, with a daily average of $9,915,037. That compared to the previous record of $158,368,309 set during the 15-day 2007 spring meeting that averaged $10,557,887 per day.

The construction along US 60/Versailles Road, the main corridor into Keeneland, did not deter fans as the spring meeting also set an attendance record of 278,415 over 16 days, for an average 17,401 per day. This figure bests the previous record of 269,292 set at the 15-day 2012 spring meeting (an average of 17.953), as well as the previous record for a 16-day spring meeting of 243,606 set in 2008.

Each of Keeneland's three Saturday cards drew more than 30,000 fans. Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) day, April 13, drew the second-largest crowd in track history when 37,161 saw Java's War win the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). A Saturday opening April 6 drew 32,564 patrons to watch Emollient win the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I); 32,325 were on hand for Winning Cause winning the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) April 20.

Buoyed by a strong Toyota Blue Grass Day card, Keeneland established spring meet records for Pick Three ($215,478 vs. $212,378 in 2008) and Pick Four ($683,827 vs. $617,685 in 2009) wagering.  Coolmore Lexington Day established the all-time Keeneland record for a Pick Five wager of $653,827, surpassing the previous record of $476,039 set Oct. 6, 2012. 

"This was an amazing meet from so many aspectswagering, attendance and quality of racing," Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason said. "Our horses, horsemen and jockeys remain second to none, as do our fans.

"We are extremely grateful for the tremendous community support we have seen over the last month," Thomason continued. "Especially given the construction on Versailles Road, with the outstanding cooperation we received from state and local officials, the project contractor and our patrons, we were able to accommodate all of our fans in and around the facility, even on our biggest days."

Top Performances: Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker, and jockey Joel Rosario joined forces to set records and earn spring meet titles as owner, trainer, and jockey, respectively.

The Ramseys' 25 wins during the spring meet shattered the previous record of 12 wins by an owner during a single race meeting. The Ramseys won a total of 12 races last fall, tying Calumet Farm, which achieved that mark in the spring of 1941, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Roberts, who won 12 races during the 1968 fall race meeting. 

Winners of the Eclipse Award as leading owner in 2011, the Ramseys have earned 12 titles as Keeneland's leading owner, including a sweep of last year's spring and fall race meets. They currently rank second behind T.A. Grissom, who leads all owners with 14 meet titles.

The Ramseys' win in the closing-day Elkhorn Stakes (gr. II) marked their eighth graded stakes victory, for which they earned a gold tray as part of Keeneland's signature graded stakes trophy program. Only 17 other owners in Keeneland history have such an accomplishment.   

Leading trainer honors went to Mike Maker, who won 25 races this meet, the most by a trainer in a single Keeneland race meet. The previous record of 22 was set by D. Wayne Lukas in the fall of 1989. It is the second Keeneland training title for Maker, who topped the rankings in the fall of 2008. Maker trained Elkhorn winner Dark Cove. Wesley Ward finished second in the trainer standings with 10 wins.

Rosario captured the leading rider title during his first full meet at Keeneland, compiling 38 victories to set a record for most wins by a jockey in a spring meet. The previous record of 32 wins was set by Randy Romero in the spring of 1990. Pat Day holds the overall record of 45 wins set during the fall of 1991.

Rosario boosted his spring totals with five-win days on April 18 and April 25, and four-win days on April 7, April 20, and April 24. He won the Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (gr. II) aboard Ciao Bella Luna, the Appalachian Stakes Presented by Japan Racing Association (gr. II) with Unbelievable Dream, the Bewitch Stakes (gr. III) with Strathnaver, and the Elkhorn on Dark Cove.

Julien Leparoux ranked second in the jockey standings with 17 wins, while Rosie Napravnik finished third with 13 victories.

"We'd like to thank our horsemen and the betting public for supporting our meet once again," said Vice President of Racing Rogers Beasley. "By boosting purses for our overnight races, we were able to attract full fields throughout the meet and draw some of the highest-caliber trainers and stables each and every day."
 

Meet Figures at a Glance (Through Friday, April 26)

 

Spring 2013

Spring 2012

%  Change

All-Sources Handle on Keeneland

$158,640,589

$133,523,571

+18.81%

Avg. Daily All-Sources Handle on Keeneland

$9,915,037

$8,901,571

+11.39%

Total On-Track Handle

$18,890,584

$19,547,139

-3.36%

Avg. Daily On-Track Handle

$1,180,662

$1,303,143

-9.40%

Total Attendance

278,415

269,292

+3.39%

Avg. Daily Attendance

17,401

17,953

-3.08%

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