Anne M. Eberhardt

On-Track Down, Simulcast Up at Keeneland

Combined wagering increases for fall meeting.

A rainy October in Kentucky led to much lower on-track business for the Keeneland fall meet, but good racing at the track helped the simulcast wagering, and the combined off-track and on-track betting increased.

The racetrack, in a release following the Oct. 31 final card of the 17-day meet, reported on-track attendance tumbled 19.6%, from 239,117 to 192,211, the average per day dropping from 14,065 to 11,307.

The on-track patrons, on live racing only, wagered $17,337,238, a decrease of 9.1% from a year ago when $19,065,818 was put through the windows. The average daily on-track handle was $1,019,838, down from $1,121,519.

With a strong stakes program and many leading stables supporting the meet, total on-track and off-track wagering increased 8.7%, from $109,482,898 to $119,055,703. The average per day was up from $6,440,170 to $7,003,277.

"While the inclement weather adversely affected attendance, thanks to Polytrack, our racing remained at a consistently high level," said Keeneland president and CEO Nick Nicholson. "Our ability to card full race fields every day during the meeting made Keeneland an attractive simulcast product, and contributed to increases in wagering."