Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie (Texas) concluded its sixth Thoroughbred season Sunday with significant across the board gains in every average daily attendance and handle category. Attendance for the 70-date meeting rose 1.5% to 9,025 patrons daily, on-track handle was up 6.8% to $1.29 million and off-track wagering grew 2.8% to a record $2,048,498. Betting on Lone Star Park's racing product (on- and off-track handle) increased 2.7% to $2.6 million daily.
In addition, wagering on simulcast action across the country by on-track patrons jumped a hefty 11.2% to a record daily average of $659,148.
"This was a very significant season for us to be up across the board in all daily average attendance and handle figures," said Corey Johnsen, Lone Star Park's President and General Manager. "It was truly a team effort. Our employees provided excellent customer service and North Texas sports and horse racing fans responded to a first class product.
"This season, our business levels have shown us that North Texas horse racing fans are becoming better educated about the sport. That is shown particularly in record average simulcast-in business on-track. What makes it so encouraging is that they've made horseracing part of their regular entertainment choice. That really speaks well for the future. "The success we've enjoyed in our short history has led to the development of a number of enthusiastic horse owners in the area, and they've responded by improving the quality of our racing product each season."
Lone Star Park, which conducted its annual 15-week Thoroughbred meeting from April 4 to July 14, continued to be among the nation's top racetracks in on-track attendance. A total of 631,726 passed through the turnstiles to witness numerous highlights.Overall, on-track wagers on live racing totaled $44,267,099 this season, and another $46,140,368 was bet on-track on simulcast racing. Off-track bets totaled $143,394,889. The all sources total (all on- and off-track wagers) was $233,802,356 or $3.3 million daily, a 4.3% gain from 2001.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, the national win leader, clinched his fourth straight Lone Star Park training title in style, winning a track record seven races on closing day. The 36-year-old Arlington, Texas resident concluded the season with 95 wins, which eclipsed his 2001 record of 90 victories during the 2001 meeting. Cole Norman finished second with 83 wins (nine more than his 74 wins last year).