On-Track Figures Decline at Hollywood Park

On-track attendance and pari-mutuel handle at Hollywood Park were down during the 61-day spring-summer meeting that ended July 16, although overall wagering increased slightly, according to preliminary figures released by the Southern California track.

Larger fields were credited for generating an increase in overall wagering as Hollywood Park completed its first spring/summer season under the management of the Bay Meadows Land Company. All-source handle was reported at more than $10.4 million per day – up 1% over 2005.

The figure includes all advance deposit wagering sources and excludes wagering on Hollywood Park races from Northern California, from which no revenue is derived for purses or Hollywood Park.

On-track attendance totaled about 375,027, an average of 6,148, which was down 16.3%. A change in the admission counting system was blamed for part of the dramatic dip from an average of 7,345 during the 64-day meet in 2005.

Pari-mutuel handle on-track fell 3.4% while averaging $1,675,068. That compared to an average daily figure of $1,733,448 last year.

The average field size of 8.1 starters – highest since 1997 – was up 5% from 2005, helping generate daily average handle on Hollywood Park races to approximately $6.5 million, a 1% increase from 2005.

"Our initial emphasis has been to make improvements for the horse," said track president F. Jack Liebau. "The increase in field size indicates they've been well received."

Improvements at Hollywood Park since the purchase by Bay Meadows Land Company include a new turf course and paddock stalls. An $8 million project begins immediately after the Spring/Summer Meet to install a synthetic track and a six-furlong chute will also be constructed on the Lakeside Turf Course.