Woodbine Wagering Declines Slightly

Edited from Woodbine Entertainment release
Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Wednesday that total wagering on Woodbine's 167-day live Thoroughbred meet that concluded Sunday showed a slight decrease when compared with 2003.

A total of $338,349,988 was wagered in 2004, compared with the $347,433,630 recorded in 2003, a decrease of 2.61%.

"The live Woodbine Thoroughbred average per race wagering numbers in 2004 were virtually even compared to last year," said Hugh Mitchell, senior vice president of racing for Woodbine Entertainment Group. "The good news is, our export (simulcast) sales into the United States were up slightly over last year, despite a stronger Canadian dollar. However, off-setting this increase was a softening of our Canadian sales due in large part to the poaching of some of our customers by the illegal on-line gaming operators."

Average field size at Woodbine rose to 8.6 horses this year from 8.1 horses per race in both 2002 and 2003.

Purses paid out in 2004 totaled just under $93 million versus $96 million paid last year.

In January, the company's Internet wagering site. The company reported that wagering on Woodbine's live and simulcast Thoroughbred product through the HPIBET, the company's Internet wagering site launched in January by HorsePlayer Interactive, and telephone account wagering totaled approximately $66 million, up from $55 million through the same period last year.

Jockey Todd Kabel, trainer Sid Attard, owner Sam-Son Farm and Soaring Free were Woodbine's meet leaders in 2004. Kabel equaled a 38-year-old record with his 36th stakes victory of the season by guiding Enough Is Enough home first in the $134,875 Kingarvie Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday, the final day of the eight-month long meet. The mark, number of stakes wins in a season by a jockey, was established by Avelino Gomez in 1966.

The 2005 live Thoroughbred racing season launches on Saturday, April 16.