Game On Dude won the 2013 Charles Town Classic in April.<br><a target="blank" href="!i=2467927612&k=j25j93G">Order This Photo</a>

Game On Dude won the 2013 Charles Town Classic in April.
Order This Photo

Chad Harmon

Charles Town 2013 Wagering Just Shy of Record

West Virginia track's average handle of $992,368 was less than 1% off 2013 mark.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races concluded its 2013 season the night of Dec. 28 with an average daily all-sources handle of $992,368, less than 1% off its record wagering average set the previous year.

The West Virginia track, which celebrated its 80th anniversary this year, has seen its handle grow by nearly 29% since 2009.

Average daily all-sources handle was off $9,570 from $1,001,938 in 2012, a dip of 0.96%, the track reports.

Charles Town Races hosted the richest Thoroughbred race outside the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup in 2013 when it offered a $1.5 million purse for the Charles Town Classic in April. That card produced an all-sources handle record of $4,398,985, besting the prior mark of $3,441,632 set on Charles Town Classic day in 2012.

The track experienced a record 26 consecutive days with more than $1 million handled on its live cards from Feb. 5 to March 14, 2013. It set an all-source handle mark of $1,365,857 for a single month during April.

"Most of all, I'm incredibly proud of all the hard work the entire team at Charles Town has put forth to make it happen," said Erich Zimny, vice president of racing operations.

Despite missing the final three months of the year with an injury, jockey Jose Montano was able to defend his 2012 riding title by posting 195 wins, 38 more than runner-up J.D. Acosta. In January, Montano became the first Charles Town based recipient of an Eclipse Award when he was named the top apprentice rider in the country for 2012. 

For the eighth consecutive year, Jeff Runco found himself on top of Charles Town's trainer standings, saddling 138 winners at the track in 2013.

¨The $1.5 million purse and $1 million winner's share for the Charles Town Classic was enough to lure handicap division star Game on Dude, who redeemed his 2011 defeat in the race by winning by a half-length and giving trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith their first-ever wins at Charles Town.

The Classic itself set a single race benchmark for the track with a total of $1,286,188 wagered.

Charles Town plans to race 220 live programs in 2014. The season kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 2, with post time for the first race scheduled for 7:15 p.m. EST.