Totals Down Slightly at Hollywood Park

(from Hollywood Park release)
Hollywood Park closed its 65th spring/summer meet July 18 with total common pool wagering of $679,693,206, down 1.2% from last year's figure.

The total common pool was $688,581,156 a year ago. The daily average was $10.4 million compared to $10.5 million in 2003.

Despite the decrease, single-day handle records were set on two of the three Triple Crown days as well as on American Oaks day, when a record $18,780,280 was wagered on the program featuring the third running of the 1 1/4-mile turf race.

Record totals of $19,178,077 on Preakness day and $22,549,946 on Belmont Day were wagered as Smarty Jones bid for the Triple Crown. Highest handle of the meet came when $24,198,385 was wagered on Kentucky Derby day, just $345,507 shy of the record established in 1999.

"The big days were encouraging," track president Rick Baedeker said. "Business was strong throughout the Triple Crown and the popularity of the American Oaks continues to grow."

Advance deposit wagering increased by 40% to $46,155,279 for the 65-day meeting. That compared to $32,822,041 in 2003. A record $1.2 million was wagered on Hollywood Gold Cup Day.

On-track, business declined as the daily handle of $1,750,708 was down 5% and the daily attendance average of 8,348 fell 1.8% from 2003.

Purse average was $412,350, off 2.8% from 2003's $424,498.

Average field size of eight was up 3.9% from 7.7 in 2003.