Keeping in step with rest of the nation, Lone Star Park reported an increase in total handle and decreases in on-track wagering and attendance.
The 41-day Summer Festival of Racing began this week at Arlington Park with an overnight purse increase to an average of $275,000 per day. Through the first 20 days of the overall 2001 meeting, Arlington's average daily attendance hit 8,526, a 12.6% improvement over year ago figures of 7,571.
Overnight television ratings for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) jumped 44 percent to 4.9 and captured 13 percent of Saturday afternoon's viewing audience in the country's top 51 media markets.
Total handle at Turf Paradise increased 9% to an estimated $334.2 million for its 165-day meet that ended May 22.
A long New York winter is being blamed for a decreases in attendance, on-track handle, and average daily total handle for Aqueduct's winter/spring meet.
A 15-day contract dispute at the start of Tampa Bay Downs' 93-day meet was blamed by track management for declines in attendance, on-track handle, and total handle. Despite the declines, the meet set a couple single-day handle records and saw growth in its interstate simulcasting handle.
Faced with the possibility of the lights going dark this summer, management planned ahead and purchased four back-up generators to ensure rolling blackouts don't affect operations. But the energy crisis has already come at a cost...The power crisis also prompted Hollywood to bump up its start time on Fridays from 7:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Running lights at night would be too costly considering electricity prices will be increased up to 46% by this summer. The move could result in a drop in on-track attendance.
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., saw significant decreases in attendance and on-track handle for its 52-day meet that ended April 15.
Sam Houston Race Park ended its 2000-01 meet with a 12.6% decrease in average daily attendance, an 11.2% drop in average daily handle, and an 8.4% decrease in the all-sources handle.
The New York Racing Association saw decreases in the combined on-track handle, attendance, and total handle for Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.
Prairie Meadows' mixed and Thoroughbred meets suffered large decreases in handle and attendance.
Arlington International Racecourse reported a significant increase in handle and solid attendance following its 103-day meet. Total handle from all sources increased 10.7% to $333,177,106, up from a total handle of $300.9 million reported in 1997, which is when Arlington last ran a live meet. Last year, Arlington's dates were run at Hawthorne Race Course.
Steady rain forced Laurel Park to cancel 56 turf races during its summer meet and was also cited for a 5% drop in total handle and a 4% decline in attendance.
Most Popular Stories
- Ward Fillies Work at Arlington for Royal Meet
- Sheikh Hamdan: U.S. TC Too Much Pressure
- Ol' Fashion Gal Fends Off Late Run in Selene
- American Pharoah Continues Churchill Training
- Mubtaahij Breezes Easy at Belmont Park
- Ashleyluvssugar No Fluke in Whittingham
- Stewart Pleased with Tale of Verve at Belmont
- Solow, Queen's Jewel Win at Longchamp
- Main Sequence to Defend United Nations Title
- Mikki Queen Rules in Japanese Oaks