Del Mar  :    :  Press Releases  :   print

Handle Numbers Remain Strong After Five Weeks At Del Mar

Five weeks into its seven-week run, Del Mar continues to knock it right through the wickets – the betting kind and otherwise.

The seaside track’s handle figures still can be tabbed as “robust,” with an overall rise of 9.4% on the ledger after 25 racing programs. The exact dollars involved in that increase show a total of $319,655,958 (as opposed to $292,218,110 in 2012), meaning a daily average of $12,786,238 (against $11,688,724).

Other categories with upscale digits include out-of-state betting (counting Advanced Deposit Wagering) up 12.9% (a daily average of $5,818,758 per day) and on-track betting rising 7.9% to $2,495,931 each afternoon.

But best of all were the track’s ADW overall numbers, which showed a strong positive shift from $2,655,143 per day in 2012 to $3,190,160 for this year. That is a climb of 20.2%, a winner in any man’s race.

Attendance numbers – which had dropped nearly 5% behind the 2012 figures through four weeks – rebounded nicely through Week 5, including a full-house crowd of 39,700 for the Saturday program, Grill Fest and Weezer concert. The daily average for the meet moved to 18,330 vs. 18,312 last year. Most folks would call those numbers “flat.” But for the hair splitters, it is actually an increase of 0.1%.

The track’s “Ship and Win” program continues to produce solid results. Through 25 days this year it has provided 103 starters and they’ve won 18 races. Last year through 25 racing cards the program had had 102 starters who had combined for nine wins. In addition to winning twice as many races this year, those winners are earning more bonus money with their first-race added prize now at 33 1/3% as opposed to last year’s 25%.

As far as field size is concerned, the numbers are on the up once more, just as they have been all season. Through 25 afternoons in 2012, the track had run 217 races with 1,828 starters for a per-race average of 8.4 runners. Through the same time frame this year, there have been 218 races with 1,876 starters, meaning the per-race field size has risen to 8.6 horses.

The jockey/trainer race continues to unfold in a fashion established several weeks back – a runaway for the reinsmen, but a battle for the conditioners.

Rafael Bejarano, a two-time Del Mar riding champ, raised his victory total to 36 after 25 programs, giving him a 16-race lead over his nearest pursuer – Martin Garcia with 20 wins. Following the top pair are Julien Leparoux with 19 firsts and Edwin Maldonado with 18.

On the training front, John Sadler – also a two-time Del Mar champion – remains on the lead with a dozen racing cards left. He’s got 18 firsts, but has several traditional rivals nipping at his proverbial heels. Seven-time training king Bob Baffert has 15 firsts, three-time leading trainer Doug O’Neill also has 15 and Jerry Hollendorfer is not far back at 13.

Del Mar’s 37-day stand continues Wednesday with first post scheduled for 2 p.m. The week will be climaxed by the track’s richest and most prestigious event, the $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic on Sunday, August 25.

8/18/13                                                           ###