Penn National Handle Up Fourth Straight Month

Officials said wagering on live races is up on and off track in June.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course reported double-digit increases in pari-mutuel handle on and off track for the fourth consecutive month in June.

Handle generated on site on live races was up 15.07% from the comparable 17 racing dates in 2011, while export handle on the Penn National product jumped 39.3% ($14.38 million from $10.3 million) from June 2011, officials said.

"The horsemen are really receptive to our product right now," Penn National vice president of racing Mark Loewe said July 2. "Race secretary David Bailey and his staff have worked hard to build a relationship with the owners and trainers, and the entry box has been very active during what is historically the toughest time of the year for horses in our area."

According to track officials, Penn National averaged 8.10 horses in June, third in the region to Belmont Park, which averaged 8.41 horses per race, and Colonial Downs at 8.26. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races averaged 8.09 starters per race, followed by Monmouth Park at 7.61, Parx Racing at 7.53, and Delaware Park at 6.89.

Track officials said they hope the July 27-28 racing festival featuring the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup will contribute to another strong month of wagering. Penn National will offer six stakes over the two days and more than $1 million for the weekend.