The track, which is operated by Magna Entertainment Corp., reported average daily all-sources handle of $2.25 million during its 65-day meet, down from the $2.34 million recorded during the 67-day 2007 meet. The track’s signal was the first of several affected by an ongoing dispute with tracks and horsemen over the sharing of revenue on wagers made through advance deposit wagering outlets.
The track reported average daily attendance rose 5.2% to 7,500 in 2008, and an overall attendance of 475,097, nearly 10,000 higher than the 484,879 of last year.
"While more people attended the races at Lone Star Park this year, the economy clearly had a negative impact on how much they had to spend when they were here," Lone Star Park president and general manager Drew Shubeck said in a statement. "In addition, the loss of wagering from the account deposit wagering companies also contributed to our lower handle figures.”
Average daily wagering on Lone Star Park's live racing, both on and off track, slipped 2.3% to $1.63 million from $1.67 million in 2007. In addition, average daily on-track wagering, which includes betting by on-track customers on both Lone Star Park's live races and simulcast races imported by the track, was $1.03 million, a 6.1% decrease from $1.09 million last year.
Average field size was 9 per race, up 0.4% from last year’s norm of 8.6. There were 313 scratches (4.8 per day) in 2008, compared to 527 (7.8 per day) in 2007. Nine races were moved from the turf due to wet conditions, compared to 60 last year.
All-time Lone Star Park leading jockey Cliff Berry, who won titles in 2005 and 2006, topped all riders with 91 victories to increase his career total to 621 while making it three jockey championships in the last four years.
Steve Asmussen led the trainer standings with 78 wins, while Bret Calhoun finished second with 68 triumphs. The title marks Asmussen's 10th trainer title in the last 11 years at the track, and increases his all-time Lone Star Park career wins to 802. John Locke was third with 46 winners.
Tom Durant won the leading owner’s title with 17 wins, two better than Jan Haynes. Three others - Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Black Hawk Stable and Carl R. Moore Management LLC - each tied for third with 14 victories.
Monterey Jazz, winner of the $300,000 Texas Mile (G3) on April 26, was voted as the Horse of the Meet.