On-track play on Turfway races for the meet that began January 1 totaled $4,716,469, down 16.5 percent from last year’s winter/spring meet. All sources handle dropped 11.2 percent to $81,862,052.
Turfway presented 44 days of live racing during the meet just ended, compared to 47 days for the same period last year. The track canceled one day of live racing during the meet in advance of tornadoes approaching the area.
The track offered 464 live races, 33 fewer than last year’s winter/spring meet, and daily purses averaged $126,744, 1.5 percent higher than last year.
Field size across the meet dropped slightly from 8.5 starters per race to 8.1, the number steadied by an average of 8.5 per race in January and February but dented by an average of 7.2 per race through the final month of the meet.
Following last year’s victory by eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, expectations were high for the meet’s showcase race, the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3), and neither the weather nor the winner disappointed. On a beautiful spring day Went the Day Well proved himself Derby-worthy with a 3 1/2-length victory. It was the second straight Spiral Stakes win for trainer Graham Motion and owner Team Valor International, this year joined by co-owner Mark Ford.
All sources handle on the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes card was $5,619,644, up 26 percent over last year’s edition; on-track handle on the card declined 8.3 percent. All sources on the Spiral Stakes itself was up 116 percent to more than $1.9 million.
Maker, Lebron, Hays Repeat as Meet Leaders
With 27 wins from 93 starters, Mike Maker took leading trainer honors for the fifth consecutive meet; he now owns 10 Turfway training titles since taking his first for the 2007 Holiday Meet. Among his wins in the meet just ended were four stakes: the Cincinnati Trophy and Valdale with Lotta Lovin and the Turfway Prevue and WEBN with Mr. Prankster.
Joe Woodard was second among trainers with 22 wins from 98 starters. Kim Hammond scored once on closing day to break a tie with Dale Romans and Bill Connelly and take third place with 11 wins from 46 starters.
Victor Lebron earned his fourth Turfway riding title and his second in a row with 67 wins from 293 mounts. Among his winners were State of Play in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes for Graham Motion and Lotta Lovin in the Cincinnati Trophy and Valdale stakes for Maker.
Perry Ouzts won twice on closing day to break a tie with John McKee and take sole possession of second place, finishing with 43 wins from 247 mounts. McKee was third with 41 wins from 228 mounts.
The family partnership of Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays finished as the meet’s leading owner with 20 winners from 89 starters. The title was the second consecutive for the Hays family and their fifth since the 2010 Winter Spring Meet.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey were second among owners with 11 winners from 35 starters. James Wright finished third with 9 winners from 47 starters.
Turfway shifts to its simulcast-only schedule, offering races from around the country every Wednesday through Sunday except Easter Sunday, April 8. Live racing returns to the Northern Kentucky track Sept. 6.