Lexington, KY (April 27, 2009) – Keeneland concluded its 2009 spring race meeting, held April 3-24, with total attendance of 240,755, the third-highest in track history, and an increase in average daily on-track wagering.

Despite one less day of racing, total attendance for the 15-day meet was off just 1.2 percent from last year’s total of 243,606 for the 16-day meeting. The Keeneland record of 244,145 was set during the 2006 spring meeting.

Average daily attendance of 16,050 was the second-highest in Keeneland history, up 5.4 percent from the 15,225 recorded during the 2008 spring meeting. This year’s average was just slightly below the 2006 spring record of 16,276.

A crowd of 33,680 – the second-largest in Keeneland history – turned out Saturday, April 18, for Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) Day. It was one of two days during the meeting that Keeneland topped the 30,000-person threshold, the other being opening Saturday, April 4, when 30,550 attended.

“Three of the past four spring meets have been the best in Keeneland history, so this is a trend and not an aberration,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “Our fan base is growing, and we are seeing great loyalty from our new fans. We are very gratified by their strong and enthusiastic support.”

On-track wagering, which includes imported simulcasts, totaled $23,476,393, down 5.6 percent from last spring’s total of $24,859,900. Average daily on-track wagering was $1,565,093, up one percent from last year’s $1,553,744.

Keeneland raced 15 days this spring compared to 16 days during the 2008 spring meeting.

All-sources wagering (including on-track and off-track handle and whole-card simulcasting conducted at Keeneland) totaled $121,124,351, down 15.3 percent from $142,965,657 posted in the spring of 2008. Average daily all-sources handle of $8,074,957 decreased 9.6 percent when compared to last spring’s $8,935,354.

“Keeneland in the spring is so competitive because it brings together the best in the country,” said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s director of racing. “The top trainers and jockeys converge here; many of them don’t get a chance to race against each other any other time. We’ve had a very safe meet, filled with some spectacular racing.”

Average daily purses for the spring meeting were $601,906.

Jockey Julien Leparoux outdistanced his peers in the race for leading rider, capturing his fourth Keeneland title (2006 spring [tie] and fall, 2007 spring). His 27 meet wins included victories in four stakes – the opening-day Central Bank Transylvania (G3) with Stormalory; the Beaumont (G2) with War Kill; the Jenny Wiley (G2) with champion Forever Together and the Grey Goose Bewitch (G3) with Winter View.

Kent Desormeaux finished second in the standings with 17 wins, highlighted by two four-win days and victories in four stakes, including the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) aboard Mr. Sidney. Garrett Gomez, currently the nation’s leading rider by earnings, and John Velazquez tied for third with 12 wins each.

Bill Mott earned his fifth leading trainer title with seven wins and victories in the Central Bank Transylvania, Maker’s Mark Mile and Doubledogdare (G3). He previously won leading trainer honors at Keeneland in the spring of 1995 and 2001, and in the fall 1986 and 2007. Trainers Wesley Ward, Shug McGaughey and Rusty Arnold finished in a tie for second with six wins each.

George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable clinched the leading owner title with Winter View’s victory in the Grey Goose Bewitch. It is the third spring meet title for Augustin (2001 and 2005 [tie]), which also won the Vinery Madison (G1) with Informed Decision in addition to the Jenny Wiley.