Despite inch upon inch of rain and a weather forecast that could have chased away patrons, the May 1 Derby more than held its own. Handle was up across the board.
Atlantic City Race Course ended its six-day meet April 24 with encouraging gains in a critical year for Thoroughbred racing in New Jersey.
Ammerland Stud's Nordic Truce took advantage of a strong speed duel to go three-for-three in his career in the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds April 2, opening day of the Keeneland spring meet.
The Oak Tree Racing Association, which for the second year in a row hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships, reported double-digit declines in attendance and handle during the 31-day meet at Santa Anita Park that ended Nov. 8.
Attendance for the two-day event increased 11%, while the overall handle slipped 7% largely because two less races were run compared with 2008. On-track handle grew 3% compared with a year ago.
Breeders' Cup announced that the first of the two days of this year's World Championships, Nov. 6 at Santa Anita, showed an increase in attendance and handle.
Attendance and handle turned down fractionally for the first time during the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet after two inches of rain Aug. 28 and 29 lowered attendance on Shadwell Travers (gr. I) Day and forced seven of the weekend's 11 carded turf races off the turf. Attendance was down 1.6%, on-track handle down 1.6%, and all-sources handle down 2.8% from 2008 totals through week five.
The first five days of the Saratoga meet showed strength from a business and racing standpoint, with gains in on-track attendance and pari-mutuel, and total handle.
On-track and all-sources handle were up significantly over 2008 totals as Saratoga Race Course opened its 141st season July 29.
Del Mar officials announced that figures for the Southern California track's first week of its summer meet was up in both on-track attendance and on-track handle.
Wagering was up on several segments of the Preakness day card, according to data released May 18 by Maryland Jockey Club officials, fueled in part by the showdown between Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress Rachel Alexandra.
Total wagering from all sources on the 13-race Kentucky Derby card May 2 at Churchill Downs was $155,969,770, a decline of 5.3% from the $164,668,176 wagered a year earlier on 12 races, the track has reported.
The Lexington track attracted near-record crowds but the all-sources handle still fell 19.5%. The on-track handle fared a bit better.
Oaklawn Park realized an increase in handle and attendance during its 54-day meet that ended April 11, according to a published report.
Driven by its live export signal to out of state outlets, total handle is up slightly at Tampa Bay Downs through the mid-way part of the 94-day meet, the track reported Feb. 20.
- By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park said its opening day attendance was more than 15,000 Jan. 3, making it the largest turnout at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track since 2004.
Remington Park in Oklahoma recently completed its 20th season of Thoroughbred racing with a record purse disbursement and increased attendance, but followed national trends with a decline in most wagering statistics.
The 37-day 2008 Belmont fall meeting, which ended on Oct. 26, produced mixed business results. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $356.3 million, compared with the 2007 figure of $346.5 million, for an increase of 2.8%. Because the 2008 meet included four more days than the 2007 meet, there was actually an 8.3% decline in the equivalent daily average all-sources handle figure.
Turfway Park closed its 2008 fall meet with declines in all-sources and on-track handle, the Florence, Ky., track reported Oct. 3.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino's recently concluded 2008 spring/summer Thoroughbred season posted all-time highs in average nightly handle, single-night handle, average field size, and purse distribution for the 84-night meet.
- By Ryan Conley
Ellis Park ended its annual racing meet Sept. 1 with a 3% drop in daily handle, despite broader signal distribution to advance deposit wagering outlets.
Del Mar closed its 69th race meeting Sept. 3 with declines in handle and attendance, but track officials were left with a positive attitude in light of tough economic conditions.
Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, and nearly continuous inclement conditions played havoc on attendance and handle figures during the third week of the 2008 Saratoga Race Course meet, according to the New York Racing Association, Inc.
Handle and attendance are down through the first week of the 2008 Saratoga meeting, the New York Racing Association reported July 28.
Hampered by a double-digit handle decline on its biggest race card, the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Pimlico Race Course realized a 16.5% drop in all-sources wagering for its 31-day meet that closed June 7.
After four straight years of handle topping $87 million, wagering on the Preakness program declined 15.8% in a year-over-year comparison with the 2007 card.
All-sources handle dropped nearly 2% on the May 3 card of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), a result a Churchill Downs official blamed on the fallout from an ongoing dispute with horsemen over signal distribution.
Overall wagering and on-track attendance at Hollywood Park increased during the 32-day fall meet that ended Dec. 22.
Just as severe weather played havoc with many facets of the 2007 Breeders' Cup, the blustery, sloppy conditions hit the bottom line of handle figures at Monmouth Park during the first-ever two-day World Championships.
A new all-sources handle of $30,370,671 was established for Monmouth Park during the Oct. 26 running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, the track has reported.
Attendance was up 60% to 63,566 from the corresponding day last year, and handle increased 12.5% to HK$825 million on opening day of the Hong Kong racing season at Sha Tin racecourse.
Del Mar closed its 2007 meeting Sept. 5 - and its first with a synthetic surface - with its second-highest gross handle ever and a small increase in attendance, the Southern California track reported.
- By Tom LaMarra
Saratoga wrapped up a strong 36-day meet Sept. 3 with solid gains in total handle, on-track handle, and attendance, and even set a record along the way.
Through the fifth week of the Saratoga meet, attendance is up 6% from last year, on-track handle is up 7.5%, and total handle is up 6.1%, according to figures released by the New York Racing Association.
Capitol Racing at Les Bois Park wrapped up its 46-day live racing season Aug. 11 with double-digit increases in on-track attendance and handle.
Attendance, on-track handle, and total handle remained up through the first 11 days of racing at Saratoga Race Course.
Belmont Park's on-track handle, including simulcasts, increased 4.3% at the recently-concluded 59-day spring/summer Meet, the racetrack announced July 27.
Hollywood Park closed its 63-day spring meet July 15 with a record average in all-sources handle, fueled by increases in on-track and advance deposit wagering, the Inglewood, Calif. racetrack reported.
Despite midday rain and constant threats of thunderstorms, Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, attracted 41,087 customers through its turnstiles for live horse racing and post-race fireworks July 3-4.
- By Tom LaMarra
Keeneland officials reported an all-time fall meet attendance record of 28,880 Saturday, the second day of the Lexington racetrack's meet. The figure topped the previous record of 27,788, set Oct. 14, 1989.
Del Mar officials said the second half of the Southern California racetrack's 43-day meet helped offset on-track declines caused by unusual heat and humidity early in the season.
Ellis Park posted gains in average daily on-track wagering and attendance for its 36-day meet that ended Sept. 4, its first effort since a tornado damaged the Henderson, Ky., complex last November.
- By Nick Hahn
Though on-track numbers were down at Colonial Downs, the Virginia racetrack reported gains in off-track business for its 41-day meet that ended Aug. 12.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported Saturday night that a record crowd of 118,402 was on hand for the 131st Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in Baltimore.
Arlington Park, fresh off a successful Memorial Day program, said attendance thus far is up 16.5% from the corresponding period in 2004.
After experiencing the wettest winter in the track's 70-year history, Santa Anita Park concluded its 2004-05 winter/spring meeting with only a 3% decline in total handle.
Tampa Bay Downs continues to make sizable gains in terms of its live signal and on-track attendance, but on-track simulcast revenues are down because of a conflict involving Magna Entertainment Corp. and the New York Racing Association.
The 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was a record-setter in terms of handle, both on track at Santa Anita Park and throughout the world via simulcasting. Meanwhile, despite several longshots, there was one winning ticket worth more than $2.6 million in the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6.
Bucking the current industry trend, Les Bois Park finished up its 2003 live racing season with on-track increases for both attendance and total money wagered.
It came down to the final week, but the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park is a sellout.
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