The total ranks as the second-largest fall meet attendance in Keeneland history, just shy of last year’s record 239,296. Average daily attendance of 14,066 was only 10 fewer than the 14,076 reported in 2007. A fall meet Friday record crowd of 22,052 was set on College Scholarship Day, Friday, October 10, while the meet’s single-day high of 24,241 was reported on Saturday, October 18.
“There are many positives to come out of the fall meet, especially considering it was conducted during one of the toughest economic periods in U.S. history,” said Nick Nicholson, president and CEO of Keeneland. “We enjoyed a month of unusually mild weather; strong on-track attendance; the best trainers and jockeys in the world; and some very rewarding special events, such as Make-A-Wish Day and Military Family Day. We absolutely have the best fans in the world, and their energy is what makes Keeneland racing so special.”
On-track wagering, which includes imported simulcasts, totaled $25,222,597, down 7.9 percent from last year’s total of $27,396,664. The average was $1,483,682 compared to last fall’s $1,611,568.
All-sources wagering (including on-track and off-track handle and whole-card simulcasting conducted at Keeneland) totaled $115,644,774, a decrease of 17.3 percent from $139,816,831 during the 2007 fall meeting. Average daily all-sources handle was $6,802,634 compared to last year’s $8,224,519.
The race for leading trainer honors between Mike Maker and Ken McPeek went down to the final day of the fall meeting, with Maker clinching his first Keeneland title with nine wins in 38 starts. McPeek finished second with eight wins, while Albert Stall Jr. and Bill Mott tied for third with six wins each.
Jockey Robby Albarado earned his first fall meet riding title and third overall (spring 2002 and 2004) with 22 wins. Albarado won three stakes during the fall – the Darley Alcibiades (G1) on Dream Empress, the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on Thorn Song and the Thoroughbred Club of America (G3) on Indyanne – for a total of 41 Keeneland stakes wins. He ranks fourth among the track’s all-time leading riders by stakes victories.
Julien Leparoux finished second in the standings with 19 wins, while Miguel Mena closed in the final days to rank third with 13 victories.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey won eight races in the fall to take their fifth Keeneland title, having earned honors in the fall 2007 (tie), spring 2006, spring 2004 (tie) and fall 2002 (tie).