Friday, January 1, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 1, 2010 . . . On-track handle decreased during Turfway Park’s 2009 holiday meet over the same meet the previous year, but all-sources handle held steady thanks to an uptick in wagers made out of state.
On-track handle, the amount wagered on Turfway races by fans at the track, fell to $2,211,868, a 17.7 percent drop from the 2008 holiday meet. All-sources handle, reflecting all wagers made on Turfway races, rose to $58,694,475, a total 0.6 percent higher than during the same period in 2008.
The meet began November 29 and ended December 31, with one card canceled due to high winds. The track presented 221 races over the 21 racing days for purses averaging $111,589 per day, down 14.2 percent from the 2008 holiday meet. Field size held relatively steady, with 10.1 starters per race compared to 10.4 for the previous holiday meet.
Apprentice jockey Ben Creed became the first graduate of the North American Racing Academy to win a riding title when he finished the holiday meet with 25 wins from 133 mounts. Tom Pompell was second with 18 wins from 123 mounts, while John McKee was third with 17 wins from 92 mounts.
Joe Woodard, who won his first Turfway training title in the fall, repeated in the holiday meet with 14 wins from 62 starters. Mike Maker, whose five-meet win streak was broken by Woodard in the fall, was again second for the holiday meet with 10 wins from 40 starters. Tom Drury Jr. was third with 6 winners from 15 starters.
Billy Hays finished atop the owners' standings for the holiday meet to complete a sweep of all three Turfway meets in 2009. With Woodard as his trainer, Hays put up identical numbers: 14 wins, 13 seconds, and 8 thirds from 62 starters. Three of the Hays/Woodard team’s wins came on one day, December 26. Ken and Sarah Ramsey finished second in all three meets, ending the holiday meet with 7 winners from 22 starters. James Skaggs's Spade Stable was the holiday meet's third-leading owner with 4 winners from 6 starters.
As the holiday meet ends, the 2010 winter/spring meet begins, and racing continues at Turfway without interruption through March 28. This year’s winter/spring meet, January 1 through March 28, brings a reduction in live racing dates. Through February 28, the track will offer live racing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. In March, Thursdays will be added to the schedule. First post is 1:10pm on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and 5:30pm on Fridays, with two exceptions: on New Year’s Day first post is also 1:10pm, and on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, races begin at noon.
Turfway's simulcast schedule—Wednesday through Sunday plus Monday holidays—remains in place with a slight reduction in hours. Detailed information is available at www.turfway.com.