Annual Slot Revenues at Florida Racetracks Up 2 Percent vs 2016

racino slots machineSlot revenues at South Florida racetrack casinos rose by more than 2 percent this fiscal year compared to last, according to figures released this month by the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Click Here For Other Stories And Videos On South Florida Reporter The eight dog tracks, horse tracks and jai-alai frontons with slots collected $549… [Read more…]

Is Horse Racing Dead? Ellis Park Opening Day 2017 Handle Rises Sharply

Press Release

Total betting on Saturday’s opening card at Ellis Park was $1,789,882 — up 62 percent over the $1,106,508 wagered on last year’s first day of racing. That breaks down to $232,276  bet on Ellis at Ellis (up 14 percent over 2016) and $1,557,715 bet off track on Ellis’ nine-race card (up 72 percent percent over last year’s $903,119). Another $300,993 was bet at Ellis on other racetracks, a number that does not show up in the all-sources total but which was up 10 percent, the track said.

“It was just a delightful and great day,” said track president Ron Geary. “We worked hard the whole year to get to this position. We launched a bunch of new things, the new video and tote board and a lot of interior improvements. We’re very excited. Obviously we got our purse money up, and that helps a lot. But I think our team executed quite well. We thought we’d have a good meet; this is certainly a good indicator. But we’ll see what happens in the next 30 race dates, see if it rains or anything like that.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Summit of Speed Handle Up 50% Over 2 Years Ago

Post Parade Gulfstream Park maiden race

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Press Release

Gulfstream Park set a record on Summit of Speed Day with total handle Saturday of $12,660,617.

Saturday’s handle eclipsed the previous year’s handle of $9,702 million by 30 percent and the 2015 handle of $8,071 by 50 percent.

The 14-race card featured victories by Curlin’s Approval in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Princess Rooney (G2) and Imperial Hint in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Smile Sprint (G3). Jockey Luis Saez flew in from New York to win three races, including the Princess Rooney and Azalea aboard Who’s the Lady, while Javier Castellano won aboard Imperial Hint. Jockey Edgard Zayas won three races, including two stakes.

In its last year at Calder in 2013, total handle on the Summit of Speed program was $4.678 million. After Calder did not run the Summit in 2014, Gulfstream focused on rejuvenating summer racing and the Summit of Speed.

“We want to thank the fans throughout the country for making Saturday’s Summit of Speed a success,” said P.J. Campo, Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group and General Manager of Gulfstream Park. “Horsemen continue to support our summer program with great racing. We witnessed some incredible performances today by our equine and human athletes.

“We will continue to build summer racing in Florida and we’re excited about the rest of our holiday weekend culminating with our free Grand Illumination fireworks show.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Golden Gate Field Reports Gains

Golden Gate Fields concluded its 99-day winter/spring meet on Sunday, June 18 with gains in both attendance and on-track handle. The Bay Area track was able to achieve these gains despite experiencing one of the wettest seasons to affect Northern California in years, with over 40 inches of rain recorded during the first part of the season. This is the first winter/spring meet since 2011 where attendance was up by 5.65% with on-track handle also increasing by 3.44%. The most notable change in attendance came from the popular Dollar Day Sundays which saw a 13% increase year-over-year.

“We are very happy with our loyal fans for braving the weather and supporting our live racing product. I look forward to seeing them again during our summer meet,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president of West Coast operations for the Stronach Group.

The leading trainer of the meet was John Martin with 62 wins, leading him to back-to-back winning trainer titles (Martin was the leading trainer of the 2016 fall meet at Golden Gate Fields). Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer came in second. The leading jockey for the winter/spring meet was Abel Cedillo with 89 wins.

“It was a long meet. I’ve just been working hard and running a lot of horses. I tried really hard to win it this time. I need a little bit of a rest now,” said trainer John Martin. 

“I learned a lot down at Santa Anita from great jockeys like Mike Smith and Kent Desormeaux. I’m just blessed I’m here. I’m getting great horses now and my agent, Roger Olguin, couldn’t be better,” said jockey Abel Cedillo.

Golden Gate Fields is set to open its doors for another exciting summer meet on Thursday, August 24. The brief summer race season will run through Sunday, September 17, with special holiday racing on Labor Day Monday, September 4. First post every race day is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. The summer meet will feature a Turf Festival during the last two weeks: September 8 to September 17, a time in which Golden Gate Fields will be the only track in California offering turf racing. The track will offer vanning and stabling incentives for horsemen looking to ship from Southern California. The Turf Festival will be highlighted by the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes, which will be contested on the lakeside turf course at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525

Is Horse Racing Dead? Ghostzapper Colt Acquired at 2yo Sale for $800,000

Premier 2yos at Del Mar, SaratogaHuge Price Paid for Fast Two Year Old Colt

A chestnut son of Ghostzapper from the consignment of Cary Frommer was purchased by Susan and Charles Chu for $800,000 late during the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale.

Source: Ghostzapper Colt Acquired by Chu for $800,000

Is Horse Racing Dead? Kentucky Derby Day Handle Hit Record Amounts

churchill downs ky derby dayWith wagering above $200 million for the first time and a top-10 crowd on Kentucky Derby Day, Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. expects to add between $4-6 million in increased profitability, the company announced earlier this month.

Source: Kentucky Derby and Derby Day Handle Hit Record Highs

Churchill Downs Expands After Record-Setting Attendance

Churchill winner's circle There are few American sporting events with as much tradition and fanfare like the Kentucky Derby. From the lavish hats to the mint juleps to the many parties, there’s plenty to experience at horse racing’s most prominent event. This year’s race will take place on Saturday, May 6, with “the most exciting two minutes in sports,”… [Read more…]

Is Horse Racing Dead? Tampa Bay Downs Reports Huge Day

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at the Tampa Bay Downs paddock

Press Release

When you put more money up for grabs than ever before in track history, it’s logical to expect top-quality racing.

Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Tapwrit and the other four stakes winners more than delivered.

The Festival Day card on March 11, 2017 produced a track record and three stakes records (four if you count the Columbia Stakes, which was being run at a distance of a mile on the turf for the first time).

A crowd of 10,079 more than did its part to make the day memorable, contributing to total wagering handle of $12,123,021.60, the second-largest figure in Tampa Bay Downs annals.

“We’re extremely pleased and proud to see our biggest day receive such tremendous support from the Tampa Bay community,” said track Vice President-General Manager Peter Berube. “We wish all the participants the best of fortune going forward, and naturally we’re hopeful Tapwrit will move on to compete in the Kentucky Derby (Presented by Yum! Brands).”

The striking gray colt Tapwrit was the unquestioned standout of the afternoon, launching a powerful move approaching the far turn and going on to a four-and-a-half length victory from State of Honor in the Grade II, $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. His time of 1:42.36 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth is a new stakes record, and would have been a track record had not his stablemate, 5-year-old Stanford, won the $100,000 Challenger at the same distance three races earlier.

Both horses are trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his third consecutive Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, fourth in five years and fifth overall.

Also setting a course record was the 3-year-old filly Fifty Five, who won the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on the turf in 1:41.60 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Historic Horse Racing Continues to Crush It

historic horse racing machineBOYNTON BEACH, Fla., March, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Exacta Systems and Kentucky Downs once again shattered the single month historic horse racing handle record in February, with wagering in the 28-day month totaling $51.8 million. The previous record of $47.2 million was only one month old, having been set in January. This marks the third straight month that a new HHR (Historic Horse Racing) wagering record has been set at Kentucky Downs.

In addition to the record set at Kentucky Downs, Exacta set a one-month record by handling over $75 million in HHR wagers at its installations in Kentucky and Wyoming, up from its previous record of $68.6 million set last month.

“Despite the short month, Exacta and Kentucky Downs added over $4.5 million in pari-mutuel wagering handle when compared to January’s record numbers,” commented Exacta Systems President Jeremy Stein. “I am confident that with the introduction of Exacta Premium Game Titles with minimum jackpots of $100,000 at Kentucky Downs next month, the explosive growth of historic horse racing will continue. In January, Exacta went over $1 billion in total wagers handled since we first went live in 2015. We are on pace to do $1 billion in total wagers at our combined installations this year alone, which will continue generating millions in new revenue for purses, breeders incentive funds, racetrack operators and state general funds.”

For more information about the company and the Exacta historic horse racing system, visit www.exactasystems.com or the Exacta Systems Facebook page.