Game On Dude winning the Santa Anita Handicap.

Game On Dude winning the Santa Anita Handicap.

Benoit Photography

Santa Anita Handicap Handle Increases 23%

On-track handle also increased 11% for blockbuster program March 8 at Arcadia track.

The Santa Anita Handicap program March 8 produced a robust 23% increase in total handle over last year, the track reported.

Wagering on the blockbuster program, topped by a record third Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) win by Game On Dude and the emergence of 3-year-old talent California Chrome  in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), totaled $22,589,082.

With a picture postcard day and a  highly anticipated Big 'Cap match-up, on-track attendance of 27,121 was up only 1% over last year's 26,901. Those who were at Santa Anita bet considerably more, however. Handle of $3,716,513 represented an 11% jump over last year's $3,347,152.

Besides the Santa Anita and San Felipe, other stakes on the card were the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT), won by WinningPrize, and the San Carlos (gr. II), which featured a repeat victory by Sahara Sky.