Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Signals Mixed at End of Fair Meadows Racing Meet

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Signals Mixed at End of Fair Meadows Racing Meet

Article excerpt

TULSA (AP) - Signals were mixed at Tulsa's pari-mutuel horse racing meet, which wrapped up Sunday with a 14-day total handle of $6.1 million at the new Fair Meadows track, said racing director Ron Shotts.

The handle, plus money from concessions and other revenues, will just about cover the debt service on bonds secured by the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority to build the track, Shotts said.

``And if it doesn't, we have a reserve fund that would make up the small difference,'' Shotts said.

Shotts said one thing track operators learned was that the last weekend of the meet, coinciding with the beginning of the Tulsa State Fair, didn't create the boost in attendance that had been expected.

On the first weekend of the meet, 14,377 fans bet $1,149,729. On the final weekend, coinciding with the opening weekend of the fair, 17,201 fans wagered $1,236,071.

``That's just not a significant difference,'' Shotts said.

Future racing schedules likely will be managed much the same as this year's, Shotts said. The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission has granted the track 18 racing days in 1990.

Shotts said it was hoped that money from this year's racing at Fair Meadows would be enough to pay for lights to be installed, allowing evening racing on weekdays.

``We'll have to sit down and look at it,'' Shotts said.

With total attendance of 68,738, Shotts called the meet ``highly successful any way you look at it.''

The track will operate as a training facility in the off season, with schooling races every other Tuesday, Shotts said.

The record handle Sunday brought the total to $6,146,632. The average daily handle of $439,045 coupled with an average attendance of 4,909 meant racing fans wagered an average $89. …

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