File Photo

Woodbine Wagering Held Steady in 2008

Handle per race for 167-day meet up by nearly 1%; all source handle declines 1.55%.

(from Woodbine report)

Betting on Woodbine's 2008 live Thoroughbred meet, which concluded Dec. 7, remained steady over last year, Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Dec. 10.

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%.

The "all-sources" total of $337,734,635 was wagered during the 167-day meet that began April 5, compared to the $343,059,524 recorded from the 169 dates offered in 2007, a 1.55% overall drop.

Average field size at Woodbine also held steady at 9.0 horses per race this year, the same as 2007.

"In light of the handle dips we've seen during other Thoroughbred meets across the continent this year, we are pleased with the results," said Sean Pinsonneault, Woodbine Entertainment's vice-president of wagering services. "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."

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.