Hollywood Park Handle Declines Slightly

Hollywood Park Handle Declines Slightly
Photo: Benoit
Hollywood Park realized a 1.8% drop in all-sources handle during the 70th running of its spring/summer meet, which ended July 13.

Average all-sources handle for the 60-day meet was $707,015,100, or a daily average of $11,783,585, down from the record $11,996,243 averaged during a 63-day meet last year, the track reported.

“The tracks across the country have struggled to maintain their 2007 averages,” track president Jack Liebau said in a statement. “We were up against record figures and I think we did as well as we could have hoped in these tough economic times.”

A record $29,773,657 was wagered on Kentucky Derby Day, the highest handle of the meet and the largest single-day handle in California to date in 2008. Preakness Day handle was $21,049,983 and Belmont Day handle was a record $25,721,762.

American Oaks/CashCall Mile Day generated a record handle of $25,137,676, the highest in track history excluding Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown days. It is the sixth highest in history overall.

While the on-track average of $1,532,940 was down 9.7% and the off-track average in Southern California of $2,756,892 was down 10.4%, advance deposit wagering continued to grow with a daily average of $2,132,108 — up 14.6% from 2007.

“Account wagering on races at Hollywood Park no doubt benefited from the standoff between TrackNet (Media Group) and the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group because other signals were not available to account wagering providers,” Liebau said.

Daily purses averaged $447,329, while fields averaged 8.3 horses per race — 8.5 on Cushion Track and 7.7 on the Lakeside Turf Course. Total attendance declined 5.9% to a daily average of 6,063.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who shifted his tack to Southern California during the 2007 Autumn Meet, rode 56 winners to win his first Hollywood Park riding title. John Sadler won his first spring/summer training title with 30 wins. He captured his first Hollywood Park training title at the 2007 autumn meet.

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