Preliminary figures from Oaklawn Park show marked decreases in attendance and on-track handle. Average daily attendance for the 52-day meet at Hot Springs, Ark., fell nearly 9.5% to 11,251, and average daily on-track handle dropped just over 11% to $1,005,957.
Wagering throughout the meet on imported races increased 8% to a total $16,258,550 and total wagering on Oaklawn races from out-of-state rose a slight 0.13% to $173,395,397. Despite these increases, the total all-sources handle fell nearly 2.1% to $241,963,690, down from $247,083,982 a year ago.
Attendance and live handle also fell on Oaklawn's biggest day. The Arkansas Derby attracted 39,872 people, which was 25% less than last year. Consequently, the on-track handle for the day decreased 26% to $3,015,368. Total wagering on the Arkansas Derby dropped 20% to $12,057,348, down from $15,133,537 in 2000.