Del Mar Starting Gate

Del Mar Starting Gate

Benoit Photography

Del Mar Wagering Increases; Attendance Down

California track says total wagering up 11.3% during first 20 days.

With the Del Mar race meet surpassing its mid-point, the seaside California oval continues to experience an increase in betting and decline in attendance.

After 20 race days through Sunday, Aug. 11, overall wagering has increased 11.3% and on-track betting is up 7.4%.

Pari-mutuel handle for the meet has totaled $256,343,616 for a daily average of $12,817,181, compared with a daily average $11,516,046 last year on total handle of $230,320,914.

The on-track total handle of $49,456,139 for 20 days equates to a daily average $2,472,807, compared with total betting of $46,030,298 and average $2,301,515 a year ago.

According to The Jockey Club Information Systems, a total $11,944,510 in purses have been distributed for a daily average $597,226.

Del Mar's attendance has declined 4.7% from a 20-day total of 376,566 (18,828 average) in 2012 to 358,785 (average 17,939) this season. A release from the track said the decline could be attributed to alterations in the racing schedule this year that resulted in "several of the likely large-draw days" still to come during the second half of the season.

Del Mar reported a slight uptick in average runners per race to 8.6 this year compared with 8.4 at the same point a year ago. The track's "Ship and Win" bonus program for owners who bring horses from out of state to run at the meet continues to attract interest, with 86 such runners winning 15 races.

During the first 20 days of the meet, 133 horses have been claimed, with $2,921,000 changing hands. There is an 8% sales tax charged by the state on each claim.