Benoit Photo

Inaugural Santa Anita Spring Meet Successful

Doug O'Neill won his fourth Santa Anita training title and Joe Talamo was top jockey.

Racing the dates that were previously run at the now-closed Hollywood Park, Santa Anita Park reported average daily all-sources handle of $9.92 million during the inaugural 38-day spring meet that concluded June 29.

Initial figures released by the Southern California track showed total wagering of $337.2 million, for an average of $9.92 million; with on-track handle totaling $53.3 million for a $1.4 million daily average.

Attendance, not including children under 17 and patrons admitted to the infield for free, totaled 264,800 for the meet, an average of 6,970 per day.

Santa Anita reported that the spring meet and the track's 69-day winter meet that preceded it from Dec. 26 through April 20 generated total pari-mutuel handle that exceeded $1 billion.

"This has been a very successful and gratifying meet on several levels," said Santa Anita chairman Keith Brackpool. "This was uncharted territory for us and on balance we're very pleased with the way the meet went in terms of handle and purses, and that we were able to expose many more thousands of new fans to our sport. One of our primary objectives has been to get people excited about coming out to Santa Anita and our modernization projects throughout the facility have been a great help in that regard."

Santa Anita's 2014 autumn meet will open Friday, Sept. 26 and will be highlighted by the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be hosted by Santa Anita for an unprecedented third consecutive year Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

At the spring meet Doug O'Neill won his fourth Santa Anita training title, having previously won three straight winter/spring meets, 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07.

Joe Talamo, a 24-year-old native of Louisiana, won 43 races to take leading jockey honors. Top apprentice jockey with 23 wins was Drayden Van Dyke, who ranked fifth overall in the rider standings.

Majestic Harbor , who crushed six rivals including three-time Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Game On Dude in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I) on June 29, was named horse of the meet by the Santa Anita media.