FLORENCE, Ky., Oct. 4, 2010 – Jettisoning six racing dates and all but one stakes race for this year's fall meet left Turfway Park with a slight increase in average daily on-track wagering but decreases in all other wagering categories. The meet began Sept. 9 and ended Oct. 3.
Lost this year were the Marfa Stakes and the Weekend Delight Stakes, both carrying $75,000 purses, and the Kentucky Cup Classic (G2, $200,000 purse in 2009), Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3, $175,000), and the Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3, $100,000). Only the Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3), a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race, remained on the schedule.
Average daily on-track wagering inched up 1.4 percent for the meet, from $100,792 last fall to $102,173 this fall.
The daily average for all-sources wagering dipped 2.6 percent, from $1,814,190 to $1,767,122.
Turfway presented 16 live racing dates this fall, compared to 22 live dates last fall. Accordingly, on-track wagering fell 26.3 percent across the meet, from $2,217,429 for the 2009 fall meet to $1,634,766 this year. All-sources wagering fell 29.2 percent compared to last fall, from $39,928,281 to $28,273,944.
Average daily purses fell 15.1 percent, from $128,001 to $108,637. Compared to last fall, total purses fell 38.3 percent, from $2,816,030 to $1,738,187.
The track presented 156 races this fall, compared to 220 last fall. With fewer races to fill, field size rose from 8.5 starters per race to 9.8.
Handle numbers improve, however, when wagering and purses driven by the 2009 Kentucky Cup series are taken out of the comparison. Disregarding that Saturday in 2009 and the corresponding Saturday in 2010, average daily on-track wagering rose 12.1 percent, from $90,982 last fall to $102,013 this fall, and average daily all-sources wagering rose 1.7 percent, from $1,735,536 to $1,765,293.
Factoring in the same exclusions, on-track handle overall dropped 19.9 percent, from $1,910,614 to $1,530,191, and all-sources wagering overall dropped 27.3 percent, from $36,446,263 to $26,479,391.
Without Kentucky Cup purses figured in, average daily purses fell just 1.5 percent, from $110,703 to $109,057.
The meet leader titles went to the juggernaut combination of jockey Perry Ouzts, trainer Joe Woodard, and owners Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays.
Riding primarily for Woodard, 38-year veteran rider Ouzts earned his first Turfway title with 30 wins from 137 mounts and purse earnings of $276,783. The 56-year-old Ouzts earned his 5,500th career win on Sept. 23 at Turfway and ended the fall meet with 5,514, placing him 18th on the all-time list of leading jockeys by wins.
Second among riders was Corey Lanerie with 19 wins from 73 mounts. Ben Creed was third with 12 winners from 117 mounts.
Woodard, who trains primarily for Hays, earned his fourth consecutive leading trainer title with 19 wins from 58 starters and purse earnings of $137,982. Mike Maker was second with 5 wins from 23 starters. Eric Reed was third with 4 wins from 9 starters.
The ownership team of Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays captured their second straight leading owner title with 19 winners from 56 starters and purse earnings of $133,672. Ken and Sarah Ramsey were second with 4 winners from 10 starters, and Ron McKay's M. Y. Stables was third with 3 winners from 16 starters.
Racing under his name alone, Billy Hays also won the 2009 fall and holiday meet titles.
Eldaafer won the Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3), earning an automatic spot in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon at the world championships in November. Another highlight of the meet was the family-oriented Fan Appreciation Day on Oct. 2, which was jointly promoted by the horsemen and track management and drew a crowd estimated at 3,500.