Del Mar and Satellites Claim Top Attendance

Despite a 7% downturn, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club reported that its combined on-track and satellite average daily attendance of 27,960 was the best among U.S. tracks. According to numbers released by the track, on-track attendance averaged 14,252 for the 43-day meet, down 4.8% from the 14,973 figure last year. Off-track attendance at 16 satellite facilities averaged 13,708, a 10% decrease from the 15,072 average in 1999.

The combined 27,960 average-- down 7% from the 30,045 combined figure of one year ago--surpassed the average posted during the Saratoga meet in upstate New York, according to a release from Del Mar. According to the New York Racing Association, attendance at Saratoga averaged 26,441. When figures from NYRA's Aqueduct Racecourse are added, the daily average totaled 30,657 for the Saratoga meet. (NYRA does not include the Aqueduct numbers in its Saratoga meet report).

Del Mar reported that average daily handle from all sources was $11,736,073, down slightly from last year's $11,848,501 average. On-track handle declined by 2.21% to average $2,311,072 per day and the average at in-state off-track betting facilities was $4,817,771, up slightly from 1999. Out-of-state simulcast handle averaged $3,977,792 per day, up 7.27%.

An estimated $21,997,900 in purses were distributed during the Del Mar meet for a daily average of $511,579.