Tracks in The Racing Biz coverage area handled more than $18 million on their live product this past weekend — less in gross handle than the week before but, because one fewer track ran this weekend, more on an average basis.

The tracks — Charles Town, Colonial, Delaware, Monmouth, Penn National, and Parx — ran a combined 10 cards during the weekend and handled an average of $1.82 million on their live product.  That represented an uptick of about four percent from the prior weekend, when those tracks plus Pimlico, which concluded its season on June 8, generated an average of $1.75 million wagering on their live products.  Excluding Pimlico, the increase was 3.27 percent.

Monmouth accounted for nearly $12 million of the total wagering haul, up from $10.76 million the prior weekend.  The Jersey Shore track was up on both Saturday and Sunday from the prior week, with Saturday showing wagering growth of more than 20 percent.  Sunday’s Monmouth card attracted national attention because of the presence, in the Grade 3 Pegasus, of sophomore stars Verrazano and Itsmyluckyday; and bettors poured more than $6.2 million through the windows on the track’s races.  More than $400,000 was wagered into the win-place-show pool of the Pegasus — by far the highest amount of any race run in the region on either weekend — despite the 2-5 odds on Verrazano.

Delaware carded the region’s only other graded stakes this weekend, the Grade 3 Obeah, topping a Saturday card that also included the ungraded Go for Wand.  The track handled more than $1.2 million that day; though a relatively modest number, that was the third highest daily handle in the region this weekend — with Monmouth Sunday and Monmouth Saturday running one-two — and nearly double Delaware’s handle the prior week.

The region’s four other tracks to run both weekends all experienced declines of 10 to 30 percent in wagering on their live product from the prior weekend.  That may stem in part from the anticipated decline in public interest following the conclusion of the Triple Crown series.