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Golden Gate Handle Drops, But ADW Increases

Figures for 2012 as well as recent fall meet show similar trends at Bay Area track.

Advance deposit wagering at Golden Gate Fields showed a healthy increase during 2012, but average daily handle from all sources was off by about 3% over the year, according to figures provided by the track.

The Stronach Group-owned oval raced 153 days during the year, which began Dec. 26, 2011. That was four fewer days than the preceding year and 71 fewer races.

All-source handle averaged $2,886,165 per day in 2012, a decline from $2,974,804 in 2011. But California ADW increased by 11.12% on average, from $448,388 per day a year ago to $498,251 in 2012. Out-of-state ADW increased by 18.9% on average.

The racing network TVG began showing Golden Gate's races during 2012.

The total all-sources handle declined by 5.45%, from $4467,044,267 to $441,583,281 this year.

Daily ontrack betting declining by 7.15% by daily average, from $449,315 to $417,209. The total ontrack figure was off by 9.51%, from $70,542,524 last year to $63,833,004.

Track attendance declined an average of 6.79% from 2,616 daily to 2,438 in 2012. Meanwhile, Golden Gate's average runners per race showed a marginal increase of 6.98 compared to 6.95 a year ago.

The 35-day fall race meet, which ran from Oct. 19 to Dec. 16, showed trends similar to the yearly totals. This year's meet was one day shorter than in 2011 and had 15 fewer races.

Daily wagering from all sources fell an average of 3.82%, from $2,894,516 to $2,784,071. The overall all-source handle figure for the meet in 2012, $97,442,473, declined by 6.49% from 2011.

Ontrack handle for live races at Golden Gate fell 14.17% to a daily average of $139,417. But ADW was up by 13.76% in California and 38.48% out of state. Average runners per race during the fall meet, 7.5, was up by 2.37% over last fall's 7.33. On-track attendance declined by 8.15% however, to an average of 2,045 per day.

"You certainly don't like being down, but I do believe we have stopped the slide," said track general manager Joe Morris after completing his first year at the helm. 

He noted the fall figures were hurt by the Giants' World Series quest, no Pick 6 carryover momentum, and a big storm that dropped five inches of rain in the Bay Area.

Morris pointed to the increase in number of starters, the addition of two stakes races to the schedule, and response to Golden Gate's marketing efforts among the reasons for optimism.

"This is the year we turn things around," he said.