Turfway Park in Florence ended its fall meet last week — the track's 50th anniversary — with a 16.1 percent drop in on-track betting.
Handle fell to $2.2 million, compared to $2.6 million for the same meet last year. Betting from all sources, including simulcasting, was down 6.3 percent, to $39.9 million from $42.6 million.
Track president Bob Elliston said in a news release that straight handle comparisons "are not necessarily indicative of revenues to the track and to horsemen. For example, handle from (advance-deposit wagering platforms) was nearly flat for the race meet — not bad for the present economy — but revenue from those sources was up more than 50 percent because we were able to renegotiate contracts."
Average daily purses were down 17.3 percent, to $128,001, despite dropping four stakes races and cutting the Kentucky Cup Classic purse from $350,000 to $200,000. Field size was about the same, at 8.5 horses per race, helped in part by a strangles quarantine at Hoosier Park that kept many horses from traveling there.