Numbers Down for Turfway Fall Meet

Numbers Down for Turfway Fall Meet
Photo: Pat Lang
Zanjero won the 2008 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park's Fall meet.

Turfway Park closed its 2008 fall meet with declines in all-sources and on-track handle, the Florence, Ky., track reported Oct. 3.

Wagering on Turfway races from all sources fell 20.2% to $42,596,033, or a daily average of $1,936,183 for the 22-day meet. On-track wagering totaled $2,642,594, or $120,118 in daily average, down 18.3% compared to the same period last year.

The track presented 214 races compared to 222 last year, with high winds resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Ike forcing the cancellation of eight races on Sunday, Sept. 14.

“Unfortunately, our handle for the fall meet tracked very closely to many other racetracks whose recent meets closed with declines across the board,” Turfway president and chief executive officer Robert N. Elliston said in a statement.

Elliston said the track was holding its own in on-track handle until it ran into a "tough wagering day" on the Kentucky Cup Sept. 27.

“Honestly, given the key match up between Street Sense   and Hard Spun   on 'Cup' day last year, and the 11 grade I races at Belmont and Santa Anita this year, we knew matching 2007 was going to be a difficult task," he said. We didn’t know we’d also lose a Sunday to — of all things here in Kentucky — hurricane winds!

“But while handle figures were soft, the racetrack performed exceptionally well, and we are appreciative of all the horsemen who raced with us this fall.”

Turfway reported purses declined 6.9%, with average daily purses pegged at $153,741, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Field size dipped slightly from 8.9 in 2007 to 8.5. Turfway does not charge admission and attendance estimates are not released.

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