Fair Grounds Wagering Up For Seventh Straight Year

A slight decline in on-track wagering was offset by simulcast business as overall handle increased for the seventh straight year during the 88-day Fair Grounds meet that concluded Monday. The New Orleans track reported a total of $430.2 million, or an average of $4.89 million per day, was wagered on Fair Grounds races, a 1.3 percent increase over the $424.9 million wagered last season.

On-track attendance and handle each fell, with the $25.8 million wagered on-track representing a decline of less than 1 percent from last season, while nearly 220,000 people attended the meet, down 6.5 percent from last year. During the final 11 weeks of the meet, after there was no longer competition from the NFC West champion New Orleans Saints, attendance was virtually even with the numbers posted during the 1999-2000 meet, the track reported.

Tom Amoss and Steve Asmussen tied for the trainer's title with 54 wins each. It was Amoss' eighth Fair Grounds title in 11 years, and for Asmussen, it is his first trainer's crown in New Orleans.

Lonnie Meche captured his first Fair Grounds riding title with 99 victories and Tom Boy Stables, operated by Merwyn Sher of St. Louis, captured his first Fair Grounds owner's crown with 21 wins.