Turfway Park

Turfway Park

Pat Lang

Turfway Park Ontrack Handle Increases

Kentucky track reported slight increase ontrack and decline in all-sources wagering.

Turfway Park reported a slight increase in ontrack handle and a decline in all-sources wagering during the 16-day fall meet highlighted by the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day.

Turfway officials said ontrack wagering on live races totaled $1,640,490, up 0.4% from the 16-day fall meet in 2010. Handle from all sources on the track’s live races was $27,172,667, down 3.9%.

The Sept. 26 card featured the return of the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, which was sponsored by WinStar Farm in its return from a one-year hiatus. Compared with the same day on the card last year when none of the five stakes was run, ontrack handle for the day increased 247%, and all-sources handle increased 124%.

“Given national declines in August of nearly 12%, holding our own for this meet feels like a win,” Turfway president Bob Elliston said in a statement. “Clearly, if you put a great product in front of the betting public, like Kentucky Cup, they will respond.”

Purses averaged $139,419 daily, up 28% from the comparable meet in 2010, while field size declined from an average 9.8 starters per race to 8.4 this fall. The track ran 162 races this meet, two more than last fall.

Apprentice jockey Roberto Morales earned the first riding title of his career, winning with 32 of his 121 mounts. Morales, 21, is a 2011 graduate of Escuela Vocacional Hipica at El Commandante racetrack in his native Puerto Rico and earned his first win in the United States at Gulfstream Park in April. He was the leading apprentice at the Ellis Park meet, where he was second among all riders.

Mike Maker saddled 12 winners from 28 starters to lead the trainer standings for the third straight meet and bring his career total at Turfway to eight titles.

Three owners--Kendall Hansen, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, and Dawn Martin--finished in a tie for the meet’s leading owner honors with three winners each.

Live racing returns to Turfway for the holiday meet beginning Dec. 1.