Hoosier Park concluded its 12th season of Thoroughbred racing Saturday, Nov. 25. The meet offered 59 full days of racing, beginning Sept. 2.Hoosier Park was scheduled to offer 61 live racing dates, but was forced to cancel two race cards prior to their completion due to inclement weather. Total wagering for the 2006 meet reached $106,034,147, with average daily handle from all sources growing by 1.9% as $1,797,189 was wagered daily on Hoosier Park's race card compared to an average of $1,764,065 during the 57-day meet in 2005. Off-track wagering on Hoosier Park races by customers at simulcast-wagering facilities around the country continued to grow, totaling $100,527,861 during the 59-day meet. Average daily off-track wagering grew 2.2% to $1,703,862 per day, compared to the daily average of $1,666,717 one year ago. On-track wagering by patrons on Hoosier Park's live signal as well as whole-card simulcast signals from other racetracks declined to $4,232,125 in 2006, with average daily on-track wagering slipping 4.5% to $71,731 from the $75,118 per day wagered in 2005. Wagering on Hoosier Park's live and simulcast races by patrons at the track's three Indiana off-track betting locations in Indianapolis, Merrillville and Fort Wayne totaled $1,274,161 and was relatively unchanged year over year, with daily averages dropping 2.8% from $22,229 in 2005 to $21,596 in 2006. Total attendance for the meet was 63,129, with average daily attendance at the Anderson, Ind., track falling to 1,070, a decrease of 9.2% over last year's average of 1,178.An average of 9.1 horses went to the gate in 2006, compared to an average of 9.3 in 2005. Average daily purses fell 4% in 2006, as horsemen raced for $156,510 per night, versus an average of $162,953 in 2005.
"We are pleased that Hoosier Park's Thoroughbred racing program continues to grow in popularity with simulcast customers around the country, which is due in part to our ability to offer large, competitive fields as well as our affiliation with the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network," said president and general manager Rick Moore. "Our racing office did a fantastic job with entries again this year, and created the kind of momentum that carried us through all 59 days to produce solids gains in off-track wagering. We are disappointed that on-track wagering and attendance were down from a year ago, an indication that we are still in a very competitive sports, gaming and entertainment market. We will continue to look for innovative ways to draw patrons back to Hoosier Park to enjoy the live racing experience."