Turfway's Business Booms; Up 23.6% Overall

(from Turfway Park report)
Turfway Park reported a 23.6% increase from 2005 in all-source handle during the fall meeting that ended Oct. 5 while on-track wagering posted a more modest 4.6% gain.

The amount wagered on-track on Turfway races increased to $3,039,290. Wagering on Turfway races by players at other locations jumped 24.9% to $55,521,566, comprising the balance of the meet's all-sources handle total of $58,560,856.

"This is the third consecutive meet that we have posted increases in on-track handle and double-digit increases in off-track and all-sources handle on our races," said Robert N. Elliston, Turfway Park president, "So it seems that any questions bettors have about Polytrack have been answered. We are offering our patrons good betting races with good-sized fields and competitive horses – in short, a better product – and that stems directly from horsemen's acceptance of the surface."

The average number of starters per race increased to 8.9 compared to 8.7 in 2005.

While the track's contribution to purses declined 2.6%, compared with 2005's fall meet, total available purse money for the 2006 meet dropped 8.7% percent to $3,577,420. The drop reflects a concerted effort in the 2005 fall meet to pay down a balance of Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund monies accumulated during cancellations in the 2005 winter/spring stand, Elliston said.

Jockey Julien Leparoux earned 38 wins from 131 starts to claim not only a second straight Turfway riding title but also set a second straight meet record. The previous fall meet record had been 37 wins, set in 1968 by Glen Brogan. Earlier this year, Leparoux broke the track record for wins in a winter/spring meet with 167.

Winning at a 29% clip, Leparoux also earned 33 seconds and 16 thirds during the just-concluded stand, for a 66% in-the-money performance and total purse earnings of $527,569, best among Turfway jockeys. Miguel Mena was second with 21 wins. Apprentice Victor Lebron was third with 19.

Anthony Reinstedler won his first Turfway training title with five wins, one second, and three thirds from 13 starts.

Overbrook Farm, Robert J. Mondun, Lucky Seven Stable, and Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. tied for leading owner honors with three wins apiece.

Live racing returns to Turfway Nov. 26.