Schedule Changes Fuel Portland Handle Growth

Portland Meadows reported a 68.9% jump in average daily all-sources handle.

Portland Meadows in Oregon concluded its short summer meet Sept. 29 with substantial increases in pari-mutuel handle.

Portland Meadows raced 16 days beginning July 21, with racing on Sundays only the first three weeks, and then Sundays and Wednesdays thereafter. Last year, when all racing was concentrated in the summer, the track raced three days a week.

According to statistics released by the track, all-sources handle averaged $410,607 per program, up 68.9% from $243,062 last year. Out-of-state wagering on Portland Meadows races averaged $361,519, up 73.9% from $207,801 in 2012.

Average on-track handle on live racing also increased to $43,831 per card, up 38% from $31,758 last year.

Field size went from 6.4 horses per race last year to 7.4 this year.

"With our increased purses and raising the bottom purse to $5,000, as well as the change in our schedule from last season, we've been able to put out a much better product," Portland Meadows director of racing Jerry Kohls said.

"We are very pleased with the results from just our second summer race meet," Portland Meadows general manager Will Alempijevic said. "Summer racing has been instrumental in increasing attendance and live handle at Portland Meadows, along with raising general awareness for horse racing in Portland."

"We are thankful that our partners in racing support the program. Change is not always welcomed with open arms, and without their support this growth would not have been possible. We look forward to the rest of the meet as it continues in fall and winter."

The fall/winter meet begins Oct. 2 and runs through Jan. 26 with live racing Sunday and Wednesday afternoons.