Horse racing fans have a healthy appetite for quality racing. On the heels of a highly successful Saratoga meet, Del Mar has reported across-the-board statistical increases and a record total handle for its 43-day meet.
Attendance at the seaside Southern California racetrack rose 8.5% to a total 664,594, or an average daily attendance of 15,456 compared with an average of 14,252 last year.
Total handle rose 2.7% to a record $518,376,508. The previous record was $518,159,796 set in 1997. The average daily total handle was $12,055,268 compared with $11,736,073 last year.
Handle figures were boosted significantly by a 4.8% increase in out-of-state handle, which reached a record $179,313,476. The previous record of $171,045,040 was set last year. On-track handle rose a slight 0.4% to a total $99,740,719, or an average daily on-track handle of $2,319,552.
Jockey Alex Solis, 37, secured his second riding title at Del Mar with 36 wins. Laffit Pincay Jr. finished a close second with 34 wins.
Trainer Bob Baffert captured his fifth consecutive training title with 29 wins. He was 11 victories ahead of Robert Frankel who was second in the trainer standings.