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.
August was not only dry along the Jersey Shore, but also at Monmouth Park's mutuel windows.
After 12 racing days of Del Mar's 43-day season, attendance and handle figures show solid advances over the same period last season.
Excitement surrounding a fourth attempt at the Triple Crown title in six years, reduced takeout, and good weather are credited with helping Belmont Park establish across-the-board increases in attendance and handle.
Rock Opera, ridden by 55-year-old Laffit Pincay, Jr., and True Phenomenon, under Thoroughbred racing's comeback jockey of the year, Patrick Valenzuela, won divisions of the featured Oceanside Stakes today before the largest opening-day crowd in Del Mar history, 37,439.
Total handle dropped 4% and attendance declined 13% for the 2001-02 Hong Kong racing season that ended June 16.
New York Racing Association officials expected Belmont Stakes Day to be big, but what they got by the end of the day blew everyone away.
New York Racing Association chairman and CEO Barry Schwartz said Saturday morning at Belmont Park that he is hoping for one thing -- a crowd of more than 85,818. All indications are he might just get it.
Hawthorne Race Course's ended its 23-day spring meet with double digit increases in average on-track, full card, and total all-sources handle.
Growth in simulcast wagering helped stabilize Turf Paradise's average daily handle and attendance even though the Phoenix area racetrack ran two more days than it did during its 2000-01 meet.
Gloomy weather depressed on-track wagering for the 127th Preakness Stakes (gr. I), but interest in the race around the country helped Pimlico Race Course set several wagering records.
Good weather and lower takeout were credited with producing double digit increases in average attendance and significant gains in average on-track handle at Aqueduct.
Tampa Bay Downs concluded its 76th anniversary season of Thoroughbred racing May 5th with handle its live races from all-sources averaging nearly $2.1 million per day. The previous high was 1.8 million per day during the 1999-2000 season.
The attendance at Kentucky Derby 128 is the fifth largest in history. At Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, 145,033 patrons were on hand to witness a race in which seven betting interests are under 10-1.
Keeneland achieved several wagering records during its 16-day spring meet that ended April 26.
Gulfstream Park ended its meet April 24 with handle and attendance numbers significantly down from a year ago.
Good weather and the introduction of account wagering helped Santa Anita Park exceed $1 billion in total handle for the third time in five years.
Sam Houston Race Park ended its 82-day Thoroughbred meet with an increase in attendance but a decrease in on-track wagering.
Fair Grounds reported across-the-board declines in attendance and handle for its 89-day meet that ended Monday.
- By Tom LaMarra
Oaklawn Park's three-day opening weekend lured more than 45,000 patrons for what officials at the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack said was one of the strongest meet kick-offs in the past 10 years.
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