Atlantic City Ends Meet With $1 Million Day

Six programs of all-turf racing generated total handle of $4.3 million.

Atlantic City Race Course ended its six-day all turf meet May 1 with total pari-mutuel handle in excess of $1 million for a seven-race program, and management is talking about adding more racing days in 2014.

The Tuesday card generated total handle of $1,099,225, one of the highest numbers in recent memory.

On-track handle on live racing was $177,634, third-highest of the short meet, according to Equibase figures.

Total handle for the meet was $4,329,984, good for a daily average of $721,664 for mostly six-race programs. On-track average daily handle was $163,100, meaning 22.5% of daily handle came on the grounds of the New Jersey track.

Average daily handle was up 22.6% from 2012, while average daily on-track handle on live races increased 10.6% from last year.

"We're elated," ACRC president Maureen Bugdon said May 3. "We're already talking about adding more days next year."

Atlantic City has no turnstiles and loosely reports attendance. The average of 7,046 included a reported 13,254 on April 28, a Sunday. Only the first floor of the grandstand, the first level of stadium seats, the apron, and paddock area are used for live meets at the track that opened in 1946.

Based on the reported figures, however, attendance jumped 23.1% from last year.

Field size averaged 9.84 horses per race this year, down from 10.08 last year, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Purses totaled $777,200 for 37 races this year versus $801,950 for 38 races in 2012.

New Jersey Thoroughbred racing shifts to Monmouth Park, which will open May 11.