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Turfway Park finishes 2004 ahead of previous year

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 12:00 AM
  • General
Winter storm and holiday calendar dent Holiday Meet
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 5, 2005 . . . Combined on-track, in-state, and out-of-state wagering on Turfway Park races in 2004 was up 9.2 percent over 2003, an increase driven by a nearly 20 percent increase during the Winter/Spring Meet.

Total wagering on Turfway races for 2004 came to $246,047,218. On-track wagering for the year declined 1 percent to $13,114,642; in-state wagering held virtually steady at $20,892,461; and out-of-state play on Turfway races rose 10.9 percent to $212,040,115.

Fall Meet wagering on Turfway races for 2004 held virtually steady, showing a 0.5 percent increase over the previous year. The just completed 22-day Holiday Meet showed a 4.3 percent decline in wagering on Turfway races to $53,987,705. The drop was attributed in part to losing two days of live racing to a winter storm and closing the track on a lucrative Friday night and Saturday for the annual two-day Christmas holiday.

Purses for the year declined 1.3 percent to $15,741,990 over 99 days of racing, five more days than in 2003.

Except on Lane’s End Stakes Day, Turfway does not charge admission, and attendance figures are estimates. On the year, on-track attendance was estimated to be up slightly more than 2 percent.

Sarvis leads Holiday Meet riders; three trainers tie
Dean Sarvis was Turfway’s leading rider during the Holiday Meet with 39 wins, 27 seconds, and 22 thirds from 173 mounts, for purses totaling $438,056. Ramsey Zimmerman and Bill Troilo were second and third with 24 and 17 wins, respectively.

Bernard Flint, Wayne Mogge, and George Leonard III tied for leading trainer honors for the Holiday Meet with seven wins each. Flint led the earnings category with $144,729 from 36 starters. Mogge’s wins came from just 20 starters, a 35 percent clip, and his in-the-money percentage hit 75.

Louis O’Brien was the meet’s leading owner with 6 wins from 21 starters.

Bejarano, Flint, McKay take year-end honors
Despite riding only two days in the Holiday Meet, jockey Rafael Bejarano led all Turfway riders for the year with 189 wins, 130 seconds, and 91 thirds from 628 mounts. His mounts earned $2,642,020, a mark that shattered the previous earnings record, set in 1999 by Francisco Torres, by more than $700,000. Bejarano’s impressive numbers resulted from a record-breaking 150 wins in the Winter/Spring Meet and a near-record 35 wins in the Fall Meet. Among his 2004 wins at Turfway were eight stakes races, including the $175,000 Turfway Breeders’ Cup (GIII). Dean Sarvis, riding only in the month-long Fall and Holiday meets, was second with 79 wins. Long-time Turfway rider Eddie Zuniga was third with 64 wins.

Bernard Flint took overall leading trainer honors for the eighth consecutive year with 31 wins, including five stakes victories, 22 seconds, and 18 thirds, for purses totaling $582,347. Gregory Foley finished in second place, just one win behind. Kim Hammond was third with 20 wins.

Leading owner for the year was M.Y. Stables, owned by Ron McKay. The stable sent out 74 starters and brought home 11 wins, 13 seconds, and 11 thirds for earnings of $100,823.

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