Keeneland’s fall meet concluded Saturday with jockey Tyler Gaffalione, trainer Brad Cox and Mike Sisk’s M and M racing topping the standings in their respective categories.
Gaffalione was the clear leader in the rider standings with 24 victories, including a win aboard Got Stormy (Get Stormy) in the GIII Buffalo Trace Franklin County S. Cox edged out Mike Maker and Steve Asmussen on the final day of the meet, scoring 15 wins, highlighted by Essential Quality’s (Tapit) victory in the GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity S. Earning its first title, M and M Racing accounted for five winners at the fall meet.
“On behalf of Keeneland, our sincerest thanks to our fans across the country and around the world, and our racing participants, sponsors, industry and community partners and employees who enabled us to hold a safe, competitive Fall Meet during these unprecedented times,” said Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason, who presided over his final race meet before his retirement Dec. 31. “The silver lining of this pandemic has been the collaboration and creativity of various constituencies in their steadfast support of Thoroughbred racing and our philanthropic mission. There is a true spirit of coming together for the good of all.”
The fall meet was closed to the public due to COVID-19, but fans wagered $148,229,708 during the 17 days of racing from Oct. 2-24. The average daily handle was $8,719,395. Last year’s all-sources wagering handle was a record $160,207,916 for a meet also lasting 17 days, albeit with fans.
With the limited on-track attendance, on-track handle was $2,477,890 with average daily on-track handle at $145,758. In comparison, the 2019 fall meet had an on-track handle of $17,320,852.
“Historically, Keeneland ranks among the top tracks in North America in terms of average daily attendance and enjoys some of the highest on-track handle figures,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Bob Elliston said. “The difference in all-sources wagering this fall versus last comes down to the loss in on-track wagering.”