Harsh Winter Hurts Turfway Park Meet

Turfway Park suffered through a cruel winter that caused across-the-board decreases in total on-track handle, all-sources handle, and purses.

Out of the Florence, Ky., racetrack's 61-day schedule, six days were canceled because of icy weather.

"The harsh winter weather early in the meet hindered our ability to create any momentum," said track president Robert Elliston. "We would race a day and then be forced to cancel a day."

Elliston said the meet also continued suffering from competition with three riverboat casinos in the Cincinnati area.
"The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky marketplace is perhaps one of the most competitive in the country for the gaming dollar," he said. "The figures are staggering."

The key statistics for the Turfway Park meet are as follows:

* Total on-track handle fell 14.4% to $26,525,408. The average daily on-track handle was $434,843, down 5.9% from the 2000 winter/spring meet.

* Total off-track and interstate wagering dropped 9.3% to $92,123,014. The average OTB/ITW handle was $1,510,213, down 0.4% from a year ago.

* Total wagering from out-of-state dipped a slight 1.8% to $115,552,533. The average out-of-state handle was helped by the fewer racing days and rose 7.9% to $1,894,304.

*Total handle slid 6.4% to $234,200,955, down from $250,253,508 during the 2000 winter/spring meet. Average daily total handle also got a boost from the fewer racing days. The average rose 2.8% to $3,839,360.

* Total purses paid fell 7% to $8,305,819, while average daily purses increased 6.2% to $177,747