The Day at the Races
Friday's figures: On-track attendance, 18,030; on-track betting, $1,140,027.30; total betting including simulcast, $8,393,685.07.
This day last year: On-track attendance, 20,051; on-track betting, $1,439,118; total betting including simulcast, $9,328,330.
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▪ Keeneland concluded its 2016 Spring Meet with increases in attendance and on-track and all-sources wagering, which included an all-time single-day handle record on Blue Grass Stakes day. Keeneland recorded its fourth-highest Spring Meet attendance, which totaled 262,197 for the 16-day season. Attendance increased 4.69 percent from the 250,451 posted during last year’s 15-day Spring Meet. Average daily attendance of 16,387 dipped slightly from 16,697 in 2015.
▪ Full fields and competitive racing produced double-digit gains in on-track and all-sources wagering. On-track handle of $17,974,896 outpaced last spring’s $16,142,325 by 11.35 percent. Average daily on-track handle increased 4.39 percent from $1,076,155 to $1,123,431. All-sources wagering of $145,592,372 on Keeneland’s Spring Meet was up 23.79 percent from last year’s $117,617,108. Average daily all-sources handle rose 16.05 percent from $7,841,141 to $9,099,523. “The momentum from last fall’s Breeders’ Cup carried forward to this spring and contributed to so many positives during this race meet,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “The loyalty of our fans and horsemen and the strong support of our corporate and media partners are very gratifying. These relationships are key to Keeneland’s success.”
▪ Javier Castellano, winner of the last three Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey, captured his second straight Keeneland Spring Meet title, edging out Corey Lanerie 17-16 in the win column. Castellano came into the final day of the Keeneland meet with a one-win lead in the standings and he and Lanerie — who won the 2015 Keeneland Fall Meet — each booted home a single winner on the card.
▪ Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who clinched their 17th Keeneland Meet title on Thursday, watched their Billy’s Kitten capture the day’s fourth race to give the Nicholasville-based couple nine wins for the meet. Trainer Mike Maker also clinched his fourth Keeneland meet title heading into Friday.