Mixed Meet for Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park reported mixed results for its 82-day Thoroughbred meet that ended March 30.

Attendance at the Houston, Texas, track increased 6% on average to 3,131 compared with an average of 2,955 during last year's 84-day meet. Despite the extra patrons, on-track handle decreased 6.1% to an average of $154,226 compared with an average on-track handle of $164,214 a year ago.

Simulcasting didn't help much as racetrack patrons wagered pushed 1.3% less through the Sam Houston mutuel windows on all races, an average of $428,474 compared with $434,367 during the 2000-01 meet.

The track's races were well-received around the state and by out-of-state bettors who wagering an average $1,977,474, or 3% more than a year ago.
Average daily purses were up 9.2% to $111,614 and in January the track increased all its stakes to $30,000. Field size grew 1.4% to 9.25 average starters per race.

"Our focus continues to be offering a quality racing program with full fields and a variety of wagering opportunities," said Bob Bork, Sam Houston's senior vice president and general manager. "We offer superfectas in every race and rolling pick 3 wagers, which continue to be extremely popular."