Benefiting from several exotic wager carryovers, handle at Del Mar soared during the five days ending Aug. 19 and remains well ahead of last year at the same point in the boutique meet.
With a $362,503 carryover in the 50-cent Pick Five and a $240,680 boost to the Pick Six to start the week and a large two-day Pick Six carryover of $442,770 to end the week, on-track wagering rose 26% during the five days.
After 25 days of racing, daily average on-track handle of $2,313,319 is 13.7% ahead of the $2,033,739 figure for the same number of days a year ago. Daily average all-source handle this year of $11,696,306 represents a 5% gain over the $11,032,487 daily average through 25 days of 2011.
In a release, Del Mar said lucrative handle digits virtually ensure there will be a substantial retroactive purse payment to all runners earning overnight purses throughout the 37-day session.
Although attendance increased for the fourth week in a row the Southern California track, the daily average of 18,312 remains 2.8% below the 18,849 average a year earlier.
The 8.42 average runners per race continues ahead of last year's 8.2 average the same point of the meet a year ago, with Del Mar citing its "Ship and Win" incentive program, designed to attract out-of-state horses, as a contributing factor. Through Aug. 19, there were 99 runners that were eligible for chances to earn additional purses under the "Ship and Win" program, up from 78 at the same time last year.