The Day at the Races
Yesterday's figures: On-track attendance, 20,795; on-track betting, $1,596,125.50; total betting including simulcast, $9,567,985.68.
This day last year: On-track attendance, 14,310; on-track betting, $1,322,818; total betting including simulcast, $7,523,146.
■ Keeneland's total wagering, including simulcast, during the Spring Meet jumped 9 percent to $117,225,845 compared with $107,858,516 last year. On-track handle totaled $18,473,700, compared with last year's $17,906,359, up three percent. And despite nearly 13 inches of rain over the 15-day meet, Keene land announced its third-highest spring attendance of 241,684, up from last year's 238,282.
Keeneland President Nick Nicholson credited the Polytrack surface for the meet's strong fields and few scratches during the sloppy weather.
"Field sizes would've plummeted with such a wet April on our old track, resulting in a dramatically lower handle," he said in a statement.
■ Julien Leparoux earned his fourth Spring Meet title, riding 19 winners to best Alan Garcia, who had 16. Ken McPeek won 14 races to earn his first spring trainer title after winning in the fall of 2009 and 2010. Ken and Sarah Ramsey dominated the owner standings with 10 wins.
■ Trainer Rusty Arnold continued his streak of Keeneland success when his juvenile Catching Reys won the fourth race Friday. According to Keeneland officials, Arnold — who had been winless during the 2011 meet — has saddled at least one winner at every meet since 1986, with the exception of one meet in the late '80s when he did not start a horse.
ALICIA WINCZE HUGHES