Gulfstream Park, which opened its 2011 season under sunny skies and a temperate 78 degrees Jan. 5, handled wagers totaling $5.7 million for its nine-race program.
Steve Calabro, the track’s president and general manager, said the day was “spectacular.” On-track handle, with a crowd of 7,358 reported, was about $640,000
“That is very strong for a weekday opener,” Calabro said.
The estimated attendance included Gulfstream's racing areas and restaurants facing the track. The track based that number on its count of cars, program sales, and number of people in restaurants.
Gulfstream introduced its 10-cent only Pick 6 and a 50-cent minimum Pick 5, both on the day’s final races. Neither was hit because War Prospector (41-1) won the seventh race.
The Pick 6 pool was $7,457, which was in the range Calabro said was expected for the new and different exotic bet. The payout was S596.56 for tickets with five winners.
Gulfstream has a $2,388 carryover for Jan. 6. It will pay out the full Pick 6 pool only if there is just one winning ticket. Otherwise, it will pay out 60% to winning ticket holders and carry over 40%.
Gulfstream officials expect what they call the jackpot pool, with carryovers, could become larger than $100,000 if long shots prevent a full payout and bettors become more familiar with the wager.
The Pick 5 pool was $55,229. Tickets with four winners received $170.05. The carryover is $35,203.
“Today was an indication that the Pick 5 will be very popular,” Calabro said.