Caixa Eletronica won the 2012 Charles Town Classic.

Caixa Eletronica won the 2012 Charles Town Classic.

Charles Town Photo

Charles Town Reports Handle Records for 2012

For the first time in track history average daily handle topped $1 million.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races reported that, for the first time in the track's 79 years of operation, average daily pari-mutuel handle topped the $1 million mark.

The 2012 meet ended a bit prematurely because of weather-related cancellations, but officials said Dec. 28 handle averaged $1,001,938 per day. The track was scheduled to run 235 days in 2012 on a year-round schedule; The Jockey Club Information Systems reported 231 racing days were run.

The average daily handle figure is for all completed programs. It is about 5% higher than the 2011 average daily handle of $954,280.

"To be racing as long as Charles Town has and now reach a milestone like this is something our entire team should be immensely proud of," said Erich Zimny, vice president of racing operations at Charles Town. "We'll do our best to build on our 2012 success as we move forward in 2013." 

Other handle records were set in 2012, Zimny said. All-sources handle on Charles Town racing was $227,660,327; total export handle was $215,454,197; average daily export handle was $948,250; and the highest single-card all-sources handle of $3,441,631 was recorded April 14, the night of the Charles Town Classic (gr. II) program.

On-track handle figures weren't provided in a release, but the difference in all-sources and export handle indicated about $12.2 million was wagered on Charles Town racing at the track. Import simulcast handle also wasn't reported.

Purses at Charles Town in 2012 totaled $39,031,828, up from $38,738,885 in 2011, according to TJCIS. Average daily purses were $168,969 versus $166,798 in 2011.

Field size in 2012 averaged 8.33 horses per race compared with 8.53 in 2011, according to TJCIS statistics. Charles Town runs a maximum of 10 horses per race.

Jockey Jose Montano, who rode much of 2012 as an apprentice, won the riding title with 216 wins, 109 more than second-place finisher Travis Dunkelberger. Jeff Runco, with 159 victories, won the Charles Town training title for the seventh consecutive year; Ronney Brown was second with 79 wins.