Oak Tree Handle, Attendance Decline

Handle and attendance declined during the 31-day Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.

The Oak Tree Racing Association, which for the second year in a row hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, reported double-digit declines in attendance and handle during the 31-day meet at Santa Anita Park that ended Nov. 8.

Excluding the Breeders’ Cup, Oak Tree reported average daily attendance of 9,563, a decline of 11% from the 10,719 average in 2008 for a 26-day meet. On-track wagering totaled $55,775,197 for a daily average $1,799,200, a 17% decline from the average of $2,159,572 last year.

A total $386,679,851 was wagered from all sources on the Oak Tree meet, compared with $383,336,486 one year ago. Average daily all-sources wagering declined 15.4% from $14,743,711 to $12,473,544.

Total attendance for the two-day World Championships increased from 86,588 to 96,496 this year. The two-day common pool total handle of $144,599,205 was down 7%.