Keeneland, other race tracks feeling economy's pinch

If the adage holds true that misery loves company, Keeneland Race Course will have no trouble finding other tracks to join it this season in a struggle reflecting national trends.

Through the first four days of Keeneland's fall meet, the picturesque track saw its all-sources handle decline 21 percent compared to last season despite a stacked opening weekend that featured five Grade I races and near ideal weather.

On Thursday, however, Keeneland received confirmation it is not alone in its woes. According to the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" released by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase Company, pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. races decreased 9.85 percent during the third quarter from 2007.

For the nine months ending on Sept. 30, wagering is down 5.75 percent compared to 2007 levels, with purses dipping 0.04 percent.

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