All-sources and live wagering and purses increased substantially during Gulfstream Park's 55-day summer meet that concluded Oct. 3 with the $1.3 million Florida Sire Stakes.
According to the South Florida track, all-sources handle during the summer grew $32,062,231 to $316,252,302 for an 11% boost over 2014 figures. Total live handle increased $34,163,271 to $243,162,958, signifying a 16.35% over 2014 figures. The daily average handle during the summer meet rose from $3,799,994 in 2014 to $4,421,144 this year for a 16% increase and a $621,150 daily boost.
Purses increased from $14.265,815 last year to $19,125,380 this year, with the daily average of $347,739 representing a large increase over the $259,378 average a year ago, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Average runners per race fell to 8.57 this year from the 9.04 average in 2014.
"The numbers prove there is tremendous potential for summer racing in Florida," said P.J. Campo, vice president of racing for The Stronach Group and general manager of Gulfstream Park. "The support we received from horsemen was phenomenal. We continue seeing more trainers and owners keeping horses in Florida to run throughout the year, and we expect that number to increase next year.
"We are building one of the most robust 2-year-old programs in the country with the support of horsemen and breeders from around the country. We also continue working on our summer program, adding stakes races and special events that highlight Florida racing and Gulfstream's magnificent property.
"We believe there is room for significant growth in Florida racing during the summer, and we intend to continue to revitalize and invest in the future of racing in Florida."