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Account wagering issues hinder Turfway's bottom line

Thursday, January 3, 2008 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 3, 2008 . . . Turfway Park ended its 2007 Holiday Meet with wagering on its races down 1 percent on-track and down 16.4 percent from all sources compared to the same period in 2006. The 27-day meet ran from November 25 through December 31.

On-track wagering on Turfway races during the period totaled $3,445,738. All-sources wagering came to $73,712,679.

The drop in all-sources wagering is largely attributable to factors affecting out-of-state account wagering.

"A significant portion of our out-of-state decline results from the loss of two major outlets, AmericaTAB and IRG (International Racing Group)," said Robert N. Elliston, president of Turfway Park. "AmericaTAB is now part of the Tracknet Media group, and our signal is unavailable via that venue due to a longstanding exclusive agreement with TVG. A matter involving IRG is currently under investigation and we chose not to provide our signal to that outlet until the matter is resolved.

"Our 2006 Holiday Meet was extraordinarily strong, and except for these two factors we had every reason to be optimistic those growth levels could have continued," Elliston said.

Wagering by patrons at Turfway on all races—that is, on Turfway's races and races simulcast from other tracks—was up 4.1 percent. Purses also rose, showing a gain of 5.4 percent. Field size held virtually steady at 10.1 horses per race, compared to 10.2 last year.

John McKee earned his second Turfway riding title with 28 wins from 140 mounts. Brian Hernandez Jr. had 25 wins from 127 mounts to finish second, while Victor Lebron was third with 22 wins from 199 mounts.

Michael Maker finished atop the Turfway trainer standings for the first time, sending out 12 winners from 38 starters. David Pate was 7 for 26 to finish second. Greg Foley and Joe Cain tied for third with 6 wins each, Foley from 47 starters and Cain from 23.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey had 6 winners from 20 starters to take leading owner honors at Turfway for the second time this year. The longtime Kentucky owners also won the Winter/Spring Meet title. Billy Hays and Rose Barney, the latter racing as Scarlet Stable, took runner-up honors with 4 winners each, Hays from 23 starters and Barney from 7.

Turfway opened its 2008 Winter/Spring Meet on January 1. Live racing continues Wednesday through Sunday through April 3, with the exception of Easter Sunday. First post is 1:10 pm ET on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and 5:30 pm on Friday. Simulcast racing is offered Wednesday through Monday January through March, with gates opening at 11:15 am. The Lane’s End Stakes, Turfway's Grade II prep for the Kentucky Derby, is set for March 22.

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