Remington Park in Oklahoma reported strong gains in pari-mutuel handle for the first 20 days of its 66-day Thoroughbred meet.
Compared with the same number of days in 2009, total handle on live races is up 22.5% to $15,919,641; export handle increased 32.9% to $11,170,563; and ontrack handle rose 8.4% to $1,661,852.
“I think bettors around the country are beginning to recognize the quality of our racing product and are taking advantage of it,” Remington president and general manager Scott Wells said in a statement. “We have some of the biggest field sizes in the country, and big field size produces larger payoffs.
“What’s really gratifying is the ontrack handle. I attribute that statistic directly to the physical improvements made to our facility over the summer. We changed our weekly racing schedule to a Wednesday-through-Saturday slate for this season, and the adjustment appears to have made a large difference overall, especially in the export handle category.”
Field size during the current meet has averaged 9.90 horses per race, up from 9.18 for the same period last year, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Average daily purses thus far are $194,634, down slightly from 2009, according to TJCIS.
The biggest programs of the season will be held later in the meet. The $400,000 Oklahoma Derby program is set for Oct. 10, and the $1.1 million Oklahoma Classics program is scheduled for Oct. 22.