Austintown, Ohio-Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course wrapped up its 2015 Fall/Winter season with significant across the board gains in several categories, including total handle, on-track handle, average field size, and daily purse distribution.
Increased business and VLT revenue helped drive purses to unprecedented levels. Overnight purses averaged more than $106,000 and with the bulked up stakes program, more than $4.8 million was paid out to horsemen. Ten stake races worth $875,000 were contested during the meet, which was highlighted by the $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint. The average field size for the 37-day meet was among the highest in North America, as a total of 3,262 horses competed in the 322 races, an average of more than 10.13 per race.
Bettors proved their interest in big fields and competitive racing, as total handle was up significantly with a total of $25,690,640 wagered, an average of more than $694.341 daily. On-Track wagering was also up from the previous two meets, with $1,136,143, an average of more than $30,706.
“Our entire racing team went above and beyond the call of duty to help make this season a success.” said Mark Loewe, Vice-President of Ohio Racing Operations for Penn Gaming. Loewe added “Like most of the country, we have enjoyed a very temperate climate thus far. That, along with the support of our fans and from horsemen throughout Ohio and neighboring areas contributed greatly to our increases.”
Terry Houghton, a career winner of more than 5,400 races, earned his second consecutive riding title at the Austintown, OH oval. The 46-year-old Burlington, KY resident visited the winner’s circle 29 times from 214 starts with his mounts earning $546,016. Edgar Paucar and Luis Gonzalez, with 22 and 19 wins respectively, rounded out the top three in the jockey standings.
Michigan native Robert Gorham led the trainer’s standings with 21 victories from 103 starts, an average of more than 20%. His runners earned an impressive $359,173. Gorham, a 1977 graduate of Michigan State University’s Veterinary School of Medicine, still operates a small practice as well as a breeding operation in Kalamazoo, MI with his sister, Marion, who along with Henry Mast’s Mast Thoroughbreds are his primary clients. Elliot Sullivan, who captured 17 races from just 61 starters, and Jeff Radosevich, with 15 winners, rounded out the leaderboard.
Racing will resume on Saturday, January 2, 2016 and continue primarily on a four-day-a-week schedule, Monday-Wednesday, and Saturday with a first post of 12:45 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday, and 12:15 p.m. on Saturday thru April 23. All times are Eastern.