Del Mar Thoroughbred Club concluded its 66th summer season of racing Wednesday by establishing a new record for total pari-mutuel handle of more than $600 million during the 43-day meeting. "This was a sensational racing season," said Joe Harper, president and general manager of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. "The quality of our racing product showed in our final attendance and handle figures and that is gratifying. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is also appreciative of the support given us by our horsemen in supplying full fields."Harper noted that the average field size for the 2005 season was 8.4, up from 2004's 8.3.
Combining wagering on- and off-track, out-of-state (including advance deposit wagering for the fourth year) and estimated uncommingled betting, the total handle from all sources was $608,168,297 for a daily average of $14,143,449, representing an increase of 4.8% from 2004 when the previous high standard was set. On- track handle totaled $108,907,839 for a daily average of $2,532,740, up 6.5% from a year ago. On-track attendance totaled 731,287 for a daily average of 17,007, down only 0.3% compared to the 2004 attendance which was the highest since the introduction of inter-track wagering in 1988. Opening day 2005 attracted the third largest attendance in Del Mar history, 40,046.