Fueled by increased wagering at Monmouth and Delaware, regional handle improved this past weekend versus the weekend prior. Total handle, $14.8 million, was up only slightly — but that small increase was accomplished with one fewer racing card, as Colonial Downs’s season ended last week.
On a card-over-card basis, Charles Town, Delaware, Monmouth, Parx, and Penn National enjoyed a 13.8 percent increase in wagering, to more than $1.8 million per live card.
With champion handicap mare Royal Delta in two for the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap, Delaware Park saw wagering on its one live card surge to over $2.1 million. Though that total was less than Delaware officials might have hoped for — it was only the third best handle of the season for the track — it nevertheless represented a more than 70 percent increase over last weekend.
Monmouth Park likewise enjoyed more wagering this weekend. Handle on its two live cards was up nearly 20 percent from last weekend to almost $8.4 million. That occurred despite the track’s carding just two minor stakes, one each on Saturday and Sunday.
Wagering at Charles Town dipped by nearly 10 percent on the weekend, to a shade over $1.5 million, while Parx and Penn National were essentially flat.
The extremely hot weather during the weekend may have kept some fans away from the track. Delaware officials voiced that concern during Saturday’s big card, though a solid crowd did materialize later in the day, and at Monmouth, the region’s only track to record attendance, the turnstile count was down about 10 percent for the weekend. On the other hand, races remained on the turf throughout the weekend, which was not the case last weekend.