Keeneland Race Course Fall Meet
Keeneland set records for both attendance and wagering. All-sources wagering, including simulcasting, was a Fall Meet record at $140.93 million, narrowly eclipsing the previous record of $140.46 million set in 2006. The total also was up 6.98 percent from $131.73 million in 2011. Attendance increased 3.82 percent over last year’s Fall Meet records. The total attendance of 259,710 represented a daily average of 15,277. The previous records for the Fall Meet were 250,163 and 14,715, respectively.
Saratoga Race Course
Betting and attendance rose at this summer’s thoroughbred meet at Saratoga Race Course. The Upstate New York’s largest sports event attracted 901,000 patrons, up 3 percent from last summer and that averages 22,525 per day. This Summer’s Meet had 40 days of races, one more than the 2011 meet, when a full day of races was canceled due to Hurricane Irene.
Patrons at the Saratoga track wagered $128.3 million—up 6 percent, or $7 million, from the 2011 meet. Bets placed on-track are more valuable for The New York Racing Association Inc., which operates the meet. NYRA is allowed to keep 10 cents of every dollar bet at the track, four times what it can keep from bets placed off-site at locations from Florida to Las Vegas.
Total wagers on the Saratoga meet, including money from those off-site locations, grew to $588.4 million. That marks a 12 percent increase, or growth of $62 million, from the 2011 meet.
Del Mar Race Track
Thanks in no small part to the large purses and full fields, the track’s noteworthy 2012 stand produced some betting increases rarely seen these days on racetrack ledgers. Its on-track wagering digits rose by 13.3% over the course of the seven-week stand. The daily on-track figures went from $2,087,141 in 2011 to $2,364,187 in 2012.
Overall, Del Mar’s all-sources handle jumped 8.8%, bucking industry trends. The final figures read out at a daily average of $12,651,175 (on a total of $468,093,477) for the meet lined up against the 2011 figures of an average of $11,629,151 (on a total of $430,278,585).
Attendance numbers – in the nation’s top three when marked as a daily average – continued strong, though they inched slightly lower at 1.2% over the course of the season. The daily crowds finished up at a California-best 17,623 a day, highlighted by a single-day attendance record of 47,339 on Opening Day, the eighth year in a row the track has outdone itself for its now highly anticipated first afternoon.