Laurel posts 6 percent wagering increase

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Laurel Park registered a total wagering increase of 6 percent at its 22-day summer meeting that concluded last week.

All-sources handle was $71.8 million - compared to $67.7 million in 2002 - and the export handle (betting at other tracks on Maryland racing) increased from $21.7 million to $26.1 million, a whopping 20.4 percent rise.

Lou Raffetto, chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, said the most encouraging aspect was the stability of in-state business.

"We were not able to use the turf course nearly as much as in 2002, and the fact that our in-state business was still relatively on par with last year is a good sign," he said.

Ryan Fogelsonger, who has left for the California circuit, edged veteran Rick Wilson, 25-23, for his fifth straight jockey title at major Maryland tracks, and Jerry Robb captured his first Laurel Park training crown, winning with 10 of 32 starters.

Michael Gill again dominated the owner standings with 17 winners, 14 more than anyone else. He leads the nation in wins and earnings.

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