From DMTC Publicity
DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2014) -- Racing continued a positive trend through week two at Del Mar as the track’s initial “Bing Crosby Season” galloped through its seventh day Sunday and the reports on the numbers front all registered strongly.
Attendance remained very healthy halfway through the four-week session, registering in at a daily average of 9,019 based on a total of 63,134 at the seaside oval. The Del Mar crowds have responded much more enthusiastically toward the sport in November than was the case at the meet it replaced -- the Hollywood Park fall season held in Los Angeles. Hollywood’s totals through its first seven days in 2013 were 23,203 for a daily average of 3,315, meaning Del Mar’s numbers are 172% better.
Handle figures, which started solidly through the first week of the season, stayed in the same mode. On-track handle averaged $1,141,954 per day, as opposed to Hollywood’s $812,260, a rise of 40.6%. California’s off-track wagering patrons (ITW and ADW customers) averaged $4,041,362, a 28.4% increase over comparable Hollywood Park numbers. Out-of-state betting saw the average daily digits come in at $4,691,920, an increase of 11.7%.
Overall, Del Mar’s daily average handle checked in at $10,324,274 per afternoon, which measured up 20.1% stronger than the Los Angeles track’s 2013 numbers.
The track has conducted safe, first-rate racing thus far with a total of 61 races presented, 21 of them on the Del Mar’s expanded turf course, planted anew last spring. Those turf races averaged 9.28 runners per contest, further affirmation that horsemen find the surface well to their liking. The other 40 races at the meet were conducted on the track’s Polytrack surface, which has played well throughout the first two weeks, and they averaged 7.92 horses per race. Combining the two figures gives the track an average field size of 8.39, among the very best of all race meets in the country. Additionally, the track’s racing office reported that the number of horses taking advantage of the track’s “Ship and Win” program, where out-of-state runners are rewarded for racing at Del Mar, is now at nine through seven racing days.
Nancy Bonforte, the director of the track’s Turf Club, reported that her members had responded “very favorably” to the fall racing season. Turf Club tables were full on Opening Day and for the weekend cards, reflective of a positive fan response that has permeated the shore racing headquarters. The track’s three “football lounges” were bustling with NFL fans Sunday and the congenial air that has been the standard among both fans and horsemen continued to prevail.
“We are truly liking this race meet,” said DMTC president and CEO Joe Harper. “It has felt good from Day One and it has only gotten better. It’s a throwback; like Del Mar back in the day. It is full of real racing fans and it just is a comfortable place to be.”