(from Arlington Park release)
The 94-day 2005 Arlington Park race meet concluded with a 0.8% increase in total handle and a 0.5% rise in average daily attendance over the track's 96-day meet in 2004. On track average daily handle decreased by 0.8% while total attendance slipped by 1.6% with two less days compared to a year ago.
The 2005 meet began May 13 and wrapped up Sept. 18.
Total handle from all sources this meeting was $405,396,420, up from last year's total of $402,308,299 in 2004. In 2005, the average daily total handle of $4,312,728 surpassed last year's average of $4,190,711 by $122,017 per day, an increase of 2.9%.
On track, a total of $54,070,047 was wagered at Arlington Park, $1,582,411 and 2.8% less than the total of $55,652,458 during 2004. Average daily wagering decreased by 0.8% from $579,713 in 2004 to $575,213 this year, a daily decrease of $4,500.
In 2005, total attendance during the 94-day meet was 715,023, a 1.6% decrease from the 2004 total of 726,923. Average daily attendance for the 2005 season rose to 7,607 compared with 7,572 in 2004. This is the fourth consecutive year that Arlington Park has shown an increase in average daily attendance.
Total average daily purses paid during the 2005 meet amounted to $257,724, a 6.1% decrease of $16,837 compared to daily average purses of $274,561 in 2004. The average number of starters per race of 7.98 represented a 3.3% decrease from the 2004 meet average of 8.25 starters per race.
Owner Frank C. Calabrese earned his sixth consecutive title as the meet's leading owner with 64 wins, more than five times the total of runner-up Nancy A. Vanier, who posted 11 victories.
Trainer Wayne Catalano beat his own single-season mark of 64 wins set in 2002 with 69 trips to the winner's circle. Chris Block and Christine Janks tied for second with 31 wins apiece.
Shaun Bridgmohan was the meet's leading jockey with 132 victories in his first season of competition at Arlington. Longtime Chicago-based reinsman Chris Emigh was second in the standings with 82 wins.
Trainer Shannon Ritter was named the meet's "Rising Star" and Arlington's all-time leading trainer Richard Hazelton was honored with the track's Lifetime Achievement Award.