Oaklawn Reports Healthy Meet Numbers
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 4/14/2009 11:26:28 AM
Last Updated: 4/15/2009 11:11:15 AM

Photo: Coady Photography

Oaklawn Park realized an increase in handle and attendance during its 54-day meet that ended April 11, according to a published report.

All-source daily average handle was $4,790,975, which was a 5.1% increase over last year’s 53-day meet, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported. The increase was attributed to a 6.3% growth in off-track handle to a $2,693,487 daily average, while on-daily average on-track was flat at $883,466.

The track's handle numbers fared well against the national trend for wagering in the first quarter of the year, where a 9.4% decrease was realized.

"We're really humbled by how well we did and almost embarrassed how other industries are struggling some," Oaklawn general manager Eric Jackson told the Democrat-Gazette. "But this has been great, not just for us, but I think it's great for Hot Springs and I think it's been great for Arkansas.”

Daily average on-track attendance at the track located in Hot Springs, Ark., was also up 1% to 11,543, average field size increased 5.3% to 9.27, and purses were increased twice, the paper reported.

Jackson also said purses could be increased by $1 million for the 2010 meet if off-season business is healthy. Oaklawn had a total purse offering of $14,723,800, or a daily average of $272,663, according to Equineline.com.

Oaklawn is scheduled to open a 52,000 square-foot expansion to its grandstand May 15, the paper reported. The track is scheduled to conduct next year’s 54-day live meet from Jan. 15-April 10.
 



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