The 36th Oak Tree Racing Association meet ended at Santa Anita Park Sunday with an increase in on-track average daily attendance of approximately 9% and overall average daily handle increased by 1.5% from last season. (The release from Oak Tree did not include the specific numbers)."We had a very good meet despite the fact that we had record rainfall in the San Gabriel Valley," said Oak Tree executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth. According to the National Weather Service, this was the wettest October since 1889 for the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys with some seven inches of rainfall."We were particularly pleased with the increase in on-track attendance which is indicative of a return of the fan to live racing," said Chillingworth. California Cup XV attracted 24,450 fans on-track, up 36% from 2003.
The 2004 meet also marked the first season since 1998 that on-track average daily attendance increased. The biggest on-track crowds of the meeting were 26,079 on Oct. 2, 24,450 for Cal Cup, and 17,284 on closing day, Oct. 31.The new 2:30 p.m. post time on Fridays also was successful as the on-track average attendance was 6,190 for the five twilight cards.