Michael Burns

Woodbine Realizes Handle Decline

Woodbine concluded its Thoroughbred meet with a 1.55% drop in all-sources handle.

Woodbine concluded its 167-day Thoroughbred meet Dec. 7 with a 1.55% drop in all-sources handle, the Toronto-area track recently reported.

Total handle was $337,734,635 for the meet, which started April 5, compared to the $343,059,524 recorded for 169 dates offered in 2007. Handle per race (1,553 races in total) was $217,472 in 2008, compared to $215,489 (1,592 races in total) in 2007, a rise of 0.91%.

"In light of the handle dips we've seen during other Thoroughbred meets across the continent this year, we are pleased with the results," Sean Pinsonneault, Woodbine Entertainment's vice president of wagering services, said in a release. "Fans across the continent respect our product and we'll continue to earn that respect by improving the quality and size of our fields in 2009."

Average field size at Woodbine was 9, the same as 2007. Overnight and stakes purses, including supplements and nominations fees, paid out in 2008 totaled $90.6 million versus $88.6 million last year.

The 2009 Woodbine Thoroughbred season is scheduled for 167 dates, beginning April 4.