In its first full year receiving added money for purses from the Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack, the New York Racing Association registered strong pari-mutuel handle in 2012.
- By Tom LaMarra
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Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Dec. 20 that handle on the Woodbine 2012 live Thoroughbred meet, which concluded Dec. 16, showed impressive growth over the 2011 season.
With the number of U.S. race days in October down 7.86% from the comparable month a year ago, wagering on U.S. races fell 8.79%, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators from Equibase Company.
Attendance of 34,619 at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2 for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships represented a 14.7% decline when compared with the first day at Churchill Downs a year ago.
Racing continues to show some growth in 2012. In September, handle on U.S. races improved 2.6% and purses were up 13.77%.
Turfway Park struggled to fill fields early in the meet and missed a big-handle day in the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions as handle and purses fell at the fall meet.
Evangeline Downs' recently concluded spring/summer Thoroughbred season recorded solid numbers including increases in average nightly handle, average nightly on-track handle, and total on-track handle.
Attendance and handle, both ontrack and all-sources, were up substantially from 2011 figures for the Aug. 25 running of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Benefiting from several exotic wager carryovers, handle at Del Mar soared during the five days ending Aug. 19 and remains well ahead of last year at the same point in the boutique meet.
With 22 of 40 racing days in the books, all-sources handle on Saratoga races climbs; attendance and field size are fractionally down as wet weather causes 26 races to come off turf.
While all-sources wagering increased 7.6% during the first three weeks of the annual boutique meet at Saratoga Race Course, the upstate New York track reported attendance had dipped by 1.9% through Aug. 6.
On track handle, total handle, and attendance posted increases from 2011 after four days of racing at Saratoga.
Del Mar posted healthy handle numbers across the board during its first five days of racing from Wednesday through Sunday, July 22.
After posting record wagering on this year's Kentucky Derby and Oaks, the 38-day spring meet at Churchill Downs ended with a 3.31% decline in total and average daily handle.
Tampa Bay Downs ended its 86th racing season with a decline in average daily all-sources handle during the 92-day meet that began Dec. 3, 2011, and ended May 6.
After posting a rare gain in December, wagering on North American racing took a small step backward in January, with total handle from all sources down 1.1% from January 2011.
The Southern California track also reported its average daily handle up 9.5% but complete figures are not yet available for the 26-day Autumn meet.
Total wagering during the recently concluded 21-day fall meet at Churchill Downs fell 3.9%, with a large portion of the difference coming during the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The Friday card had declines in attendance and handle coming off a record year in 2010 at Churchill Downs.
New York Racing Association reported that attendance for the first four days of its Saratoga meeting was up 2%, while all-sources handle rose 10%.
Two purse increases and continued success with a night racing program highlighted the 38-day spring meet.
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Wagering on U.S. races fell 7.8% during the month of May as the declines in Thoroughbred racing continue, according to figures released June 4 by the Equibase Company.
Key economic indicators for North American racing in March and the first three months of 2011 reflected a continuation of the trend in which wagering is down but purses are up.
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Wagering on Thoroughbred racing in the United States fell 7.3% and purses declined 6% in 2010, continuing the trends seen in recent years as the industry remains mired in recession.
Hollywood Park finished its 30th fall season on Dec. 19 with a slight decline in ontrack attendance and a 4.2% drop in all source wagering.
The attendance increased 33.7% from a year ago to 45,764.
Total wagering remained close to last year's comparable figure while attendance and ontrack handle inched upward despite two rainy days through the fourth full week of racing at Saratoga.
Wagering across the country on races run through the first two full weeks at Saratoga is nearly identical with 2009 figures according to statistics released today by the New York Racing Association.
Opening day ontrack handle was down 14.3% from the opening day of 2009.
Total handle for June is down 5.82% while purses and race days fall 1.21% and 3.23%, respectively.
Atlantic City Race Course ended its six-day meet April 24 with encouraging gains in a critical year for Thoroughbred racing in New Jersey.
The Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet provided a major shot in the arm for November purses, which were up 24.9% over the same month a year ago when the Breeders' Cup was held in October.
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.
The 2009 Belmont Park Fall Championship meet, permeated by inclement weather and races washed off the turf, saw declines in handle and attendance figures.
A rainy October in Kentucky led to much lower on-track business for the Keeneland fall meet, but good racing at the track helped the simulcast wagering, and the combined off-track and on-track betting increased.
Wagering on Thoroughbred races in the United States was only down less than 1% in September, but for the year still lags 2008 by more than $1 billion.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle on United States racing continued its decline in August despite the country's two premier summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga.
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.
All-sources handle for the recently-concluded 64-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet decreased 13.9% from 2008 totals, in contrast with industry-wide decreases of 16.9% in June, and 10.5% through the first six months of 2009 compared to 2008 figures. Incessant rain throughout the meet resulted in 77 races taken off the turf and many more turf races which could not be carded.
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.
Led by strong performances from Twinspires.com and Youbet.com, collective handle for the four largest domestic advance deposit wagering platforms increased by roughly 15% in the first quarter of the year, while their overall share of the national betting pie grew by more than 2%.
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.
Flush off a quarter in which it saw increased handle and profit, Youbet.com said May 13 it would look at possibly establishing a presence in another country in an effort to expand its wagering offerings beyond horse racing.
Tampa Bay Downs reported May 7 a 2.7% decline in all-sources handle for its recently-concluded 2008-2009 winter/spring meet at the racetrack located in Oldsmar, Fla.
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