Retama Park Growing Its Handle Through OTBs

Greater interest in Retama Park's simulcast signal helped the racetrack offset declines on-track and post an 11% increase in total handle.

The total, all-sources handle for the 50-day meet was $60,393,991, up from a total $55,519,044 bet last year when the San Antonio track ran one additional day. Because of increased interest from around the country, Retama Park attracted daily handles exceeding $1 million on 39 days compared to last year when the track had 31 million-dollar days.

Out-of-state money helped offset a decline in on-track performance. Average daily on-track handle dropped 7.8% to $117,263, down from $127,124 for the 2000 meet.

On-track attendance was essentially unchanged, slipping a slight 0.5% to 159,601 from 163,665 for last year's 51-day meet. Average daily attendance was 3,192, down from 3,209 a year ago.

Field size increased 4.5% to 9.18 horses per race, up from an average 8.78 starters last year.

The meet lost one day of racing because of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 in New York City and Washington, D.C. The track canceled racing Sept. 12.

"The numbers from this meet show that our combination of full fields and better overall quality racing was well received both locally and nationwide," said Bryan Brown, Retama Park's chief executive officer.