Churchill Downs Meet Has Highs and Lows

Churchill Downs

The 21-day fall meet at Churchill Downs concluded on November 27 and it was reported they saw a 1.9 percent increase in purses paid. In total, the 21-day meet paid out $10,067,188 in purses. The same meet in 2015 paid out $9,882,559 in purses. Both meets ran for the same number of days. The average daily purse in 2015 rose from $470,598 to $479,290 this year. Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Inc. is not one to routinely provide handle figures to the public for most of their meets. However, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission reported that total handle was down. It decreased by 3.7 percent, dropping to $100,750,712 this year. On-track handle was also down, decreasing by one percent to $8,332,498.

Also seeing a decrease was the average fall meet race field, down five percent to 8.9 starters/race this year compared to an average field size of 9.4/race last year. There were a total of 222 races at this year’s meet, which filled a total of 1,985 starters. That number is down 5.4 percent from a year ago, where 223 races filled a total of 2,099 starters.

This year’s leading jockey was Corey Lanerie, who finished with 31 wins. It was his 12th Churchill Downs riding crown and he is now tied for second on the all-time local riding championships leader board. Pat Day tops that list with 34.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who already are the all-time leaders in owner wins at Churchill Downs, won their 28th owner crown. They swept all three such titles at Churchill Downs this year.

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