Toronto, ON --- Woodbine Entertainment Group today announced the average nightly wagering handle on the 2012 Mohawk Standardbred meet, which concluded Sept. 29, was up over last year.
The average per night total of $1,526,411 in 2012 was an 18.8 percent increase over the $1,284,883 bet per card in 2011.
The four day a week schedule through the meet proved successful as opposed to five days a week last year that included Tuesdays. In all, 81 racing cards took place this summer compared to 97 in 2011.
“We believe the schedule change to four nights a week served to better align customer demand with available horse supply,” said Bruce Murray, WEG's Vice-President of Standardbred Racing. “In light of the uncertainty swirling around the future of the Ontario industry, the Mohawk season produced strong wagering numbers.”
There was an average of 12.3 races per night vs. 11.2 last season at the Campbellville oval. Field size also held steady as 9.1 horses per race lined up behind the starting gate, up over the 8.8 figure recorded last year.
"The major race events are a primary focus of the summer, and while we were disappointed the North America Cup program didn't meet expectations, that was contrasted by Metro Pace night, which saw a solid increase in all areas," Murray said.
When the 2012 Mohawk summer meet came to an end, a fresh face was atop the driving leaderboard.
Scott Zeron, who was a finalist for driver of the year last season, was the leading reinsman for the first time in his young career. The Oakville resident captured 119 wins in 655 starts, 10 more victories than his nearest rival, Sylvain Filion.
For the second straight season, Tony O’Sullivan led all trainers with 54 victories from 248 starters during the meet. O’Sullivan was also a finalist for trainer of the year at last year’s O’Brien Awards.
Woodbine's Fall/Winter meet will feature some major stakes events including the Breeders Crown championships, where several divisional honors are up for grabs. It is set for Oct. 27. The Super Finals for the top performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program is scheduled for Nov. 10.