(from Portland Meadows)
Its meet extended by one week, Portland Meadows handled a record $44,655,297 over 66 full race days when the 2008-09 Oregon meet concluded March 31.
The average daily handle at the just-concluded stand increased by 27.2% over 2007-08 and by 55.7% over 2006-07, officials reported. In three years, Portland Meadows' all sources handle per race card has increased 157.2% over 2005-06, when the average handle was $263,044.
The average all sources handle per race day in 2008-09 was $676,595. Sixty-one days of live racing were conducted in the 2007-08 meet with the gross all sources handle totaling $32,444,670 for an average handle of $531,880.
The 2008-09 meet marked the third straight race meet that Portland Meadows conducted live racing with a season long Monday/Tuesday schedule. Portland Meadows also conducted live racing on Sundays in October through the end of December and on Wednesdays in January and February.
"Our biggest marketing tool this season was the success of our 2007-08 season," said Will Alempijevic, general manager at Portland Meadows. "Last meet, many of our Monday and Tuesday cards had daily handles in the $800,000 to high $900,000 range. We surprised a lot of people with our pool sizes and that turned them onto our product."
The average daily in-state handle (the amount of money bet at Portland Meadows and the Portland Meadows OTB network in Oregon on live racing from Portland Meadows) increased 1.33% to $38,915 per day with an early week schedule compared to the weekend heavy programs of the 2005-06 meet.
Many believed that the track was sacrificing the local market for export wagering dollars by scheduling traditionally dark days for live racing, but the increases suggest Portland Meadows network patrons are now wagering more on a Tuesday and Wednesday then they were on a Saturday and a Sunday a few years ago, Alempijevic said.
TrackNet once again played a vital role in Portland Meadows success, Alempijevic noted, as for the third consecutive year more betting sites signed on to offer Portland Meadows at their facilities. In addition to reaching new fans of racing in new markets, Portland Meadows also realized year-over-year gains from many of the simulcast partners that were a part of its distribution for the 2007-08 race meet, he said.
On Feb. 25, Portland Meadows set a new all sources single day handle record of $1,434,445. The all sources handle hit the million mark 12 times during the meet. That level had only been reached once before in Portland Meadows' history.
A total of $3,140,900 in purses was paid out in the 2008-09 meet for average total purses per day of $48,322. This represents a decrease of 4.68% over the 2007-08 average purse payout per race day of $50,694, which was conducted with five fewer race days. Gross purses were 1.57% higher than the 2007-08 meet figure of $3,092,350.
For the second straight year, the average number of starters per race was 7.6 runners per race.
Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo captured her first career riding title with 89 wins in the Thoroughbred division, finishing 20 clear of runner-up Mark Anderson. Jonathan Nance won the training title with 52 winners, finishing 12 in front of Jim Fergason. Pat Jarvis was the meet's top owner with 15 wins from 45 starters.
Portland Meadows continues to operate year round for simulcast wagering. An infield 9-hole golf course scheduled to open in May. Details regarding the 2009-10 live race meet will be announced at a later date.