Friday, October 5, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . October 5, 2007 . . . Turfway Park ended its 2007 Fall Meet Thursday with increases in on-track wagering but declines in all-sources wagering on its races compared to the same period in 2006.
The amount wagered on Turfway races by fans at Turfway rose 6.4 percent to $3,232,536. Fans at Turfway also increased their play on races simulcast from other tracks by 8.2 percent.
"We are obviously very pleased with the excitement and energy generated on track. The increase in this category is a demonstration that we're reaching new fans in the Greater Cincinnati market," said Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston.
All sources wagering on Turfway races declined 8.8 percent to $53,395,447, including a drop of nearly 10 percent in out-of-state handle.
"We did see some softness in our off-track numbers, which can be attributed partly to ongoing difficulties in the account wagering market that excluded key providers who offered our races in 2006 from doing so this year," Elliston continued. "Additionally, we competed with a new evening signal from Pennsylvania's Presque Isle Downs, where daily purses of $500,000, supported by slots, drew some prominent horses that otherwise would have raced at Turfway."
Apprentice Dylan Williams won leading rider honors with 27 wins, 23 seconds, and 19 thirds from 142 mounts, a 49 percent in-the-money performance. The title was the first at any track for the 16-year-old Williams, who was licensed on February 8, 2007. Second was Julien Leparoux with 21 wins from just 67 mounts during the 22-day Fall Meet. John McKee was third among jockeys with 16 wins from 88 mounts.
Trainer Eddie Kenneally won his first Turfway Park meet title, saddling 7 winners from 25 starters for purses of $89,018. Michael Maker took second with 6 winners from 16 starters, while D. Wayne Lukas and David England tied for third among trainers with 5 wins each.
Leading owner was the partnership of David England and James Wright with 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 3 thirds from 18 starters for purses of $42,505. Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey were second with 4 firsts from 10 runners, while Franchise Thoroughbreds won with all 3 of its starters to finish third.
Field size for the meet rose slightly from 8.9 per race to 9.
In a study called "More Bang for Your Buck," Horseplayer Magazine ranked Turfway Park seventh among 48 North American tracks for wagering value. The track "consistently graded out high in every wagering pool (intra-race and inter-race), rating among the top third nationally in each, a rare blend in the survey," wrote editor Jeremy Plonk. The study was released in mid-September.
Live racing in Kentucky now moves to Keeneland and then to Churchill Downs before cycling back to Turfway beginning November 25.