Anne M. Eberhardt

Total Handle at Keeneland Up 10% Thus Far

Total handle is up almost 10% for the first five days of Keeneland's fall meet.

Total handle through the five days of racing at Keeneland is up 9.83%, the Lexington racetrack announced Oct. 16.

Through Oct. 16, $37,054,751 had been bet on Keeneland races, an increase of $3,318,517 from a year ago, when $33,736,234 was wagered on the comparable dates, officials reported. The meet, at 17 days, concludes Oct. 31.

Handle wasn’t broken down by source, but off-track wagering is driving the increase, according to daily figures that have been published thus far. Also, the Keeneland signal is available through more advance deposit wagering outlets this fall.

“The increases are a testimony to the outstanding quality of racing and large, competitive fields during opening weekend and during the first week of the meeting,” Keeneland director of racing Rogers Beasley said in a statement. “The horsemen have been extremely supportive, and the figures give us optimism for the remaining 12 days of the fall meeting.”

Field size through the first five days of racing has averaged 10.13 horses per race, up from 10.06 for the first five days of the 2008 fall meet, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems.