It was a mixed bag, handle-wise, this weekend in the mid-Atlantic region. Though the six operating tracks covered by The Racing Biz — Charles Town, Colonial, Delaware, Monmouth, Parx, and Penn National — suffered a modest week-over-week decline, four of the six tracks enjoyed significant wagering increases, while one was essentially flat.
Monmouth was the lone regional track to suffer a notably worse weekend June 22 and June 23 than it had the prior weekend. The track’s live product generated nearly $9.8 million in wagering — by far the highest weekend total in the area — but that represented a decrease of more than 18 percent from last weekend. One likely cause of the decline was that the cards themselves were of less national interest; while last week drew national attention because the Grade 3 Pegasus had attracted two three year-olds with national profiles, this weekend’s two stakes — the Blue Sparkler and the Revidere — for the most part did not dent the national consciousness.
The track which enjoyed the greatest gains this past weekend was Colonial Downs, whose live product generated more than $1.8 million in wagering over two days. That represented nearly a doubling of its handle the prior weekend, spurred in large measure by its very strong Saturday evening card. That card — which HRTV covered — included two graded stakes and a pair of other added-money events; it generated more than $1.3 million in handle, the fourth highest total of the weekend. Interestingly, the track’s Sunday card also was up significantly from the prior weekend, by about one-third.
Charles Town, Parx Racing, and Penn National all enjoyed double-digit percentage increases this weekend, as well. For Charles Town, its Saturday feature, a state-bred stakes event, drew bridge jumpers who bolstered the win-place-show pool to more than $230,000 — more than a quarter of the track’s total handle that night. Meanwhile, the Saturday feature at Parx, the Donald Levine Memorial, included a terrific field that generated healthy wagering.