Friday, April 4, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . April 4, 2008 . . . Turfway Park ended its 2008 winter/spring live race meet with declines in wagering on its races both on-track and from all sources.
On-track handle, the amount wagered by patrons at Turfway on Turfway's races, was $7,906,448, a 10.4 percent drop compared to the same period in 2007. Wagering on Turfway races from all sources was $150,672,555, down 9.6 percent.
The meet ran January 1 through April 3 and included 62 live racing days. Extreme cold and a March weekend snow storm forced the cancellation of all races on six days and one race on a seventh day. Two Monday cards were added and cards on other days were extended to bring the total number of races run to 624, the same as in 2007.
Purses paid held virtually steady at $9,028,063 for the meet; the daily average dropped 3.3 percent to $145,614.
Field size rose slightly to 8.3 horses per race compared to 8.1 in 2007.
Jockey Victor Lebron ran away with his first Turfway riding title, scoring 79 wins from 429 mounts and purse earnings of $983,166. Tom Pompell was second with 60 wins, nine better than Orlando Mojica and John McKee, tied for third with 51 wins each. McKee earned his 1,000th career victory late in the meet.
Mike Maker saddled 22 winners from 64 starters—a 34 percent clip—to earn his second and his second straight Turfway training title. He also had 10 seconds and nine thirds, driving his in-the-money performance to 64 percent, with $402,548 in purse earnings. Kim Hammond was second with 17 wins. Rodney Faulkner finished third with 14 wins.
Kentucky’s perennial leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey again led the Turfway owner standings with 12 winners from 32 starters and purse earnings of $256,113. Next in line were Billy Hays and R and P Racing Stables Inc. (Rodney and Peggy Faulkner), tied with 7 wins each.
Turfway remains open for simulcast racing as live racing in Kentucky shifts in turn to Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Ellis Park. Live racing will return to Turfway on September 3.