Mixed Bottom-Line Results at Turfway Park

Turfway Park closed its fall meet Oct. 7 with slight increases in overall and out-of-state wagering and a decline in on-track handle.

Out-of-state wagering on Turfway's 220 races rose 1.6% over last year, a mild continuation of a several-years trend, and all-sources handle on Turfway races increased .05%.

Offsetting those increases, however, was a 10% drop in the amount wagered by Turfway patrons on Turfway races. Turfway players wagered $2,940,629 on Turfway races; players at other venues wagered 50,779,966 on Turfway races. According to a release from the track, the numbers reflect greater competition from two off-track facilities in Indiana -- one near Kentucky's Ellis Park and a new facility across the Ohio River from Louisville's Trackside venue. Neither of the Indiana facilities carries the Turfway live signal.

Average daily purses declined from $184,947 to $176,270, a drop of 4.7%. Field size fell from 9.2 runners per race to 8.5, with short fields in the five Kentucky Cup stakes races a contributing factor.

"We continued an unfortunate trend that began at Ellis Park, with smaller fields at the beginning of the meet and larger fields toward the end," said Robert N. Elliston, president of Turfway Park.

Despite missing the last three days of the meet, Rafael Bejarano added to his string of Turfway Park leading rider titles. From 146 mounts, he finished with 35 wins, 29 seconds, and 25 thirds for earnings of $570,987. The record for the fall meet is 37 wins, set in 1968 by Glen Brogan. Robert Holthus captured a Turfway leading trainer title for the first time. He sent 20 starters to the gate and came away with nine wins, one second, and one third for earnings of $215,273. Bernard Flint was second with eight winners from 33 starters. Dale Romans was third with five wins from 23 starters. Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey were once again leading owners, with five wins, three seconds, and one third from 15 starters for purses of $276,103.