For most of the region’s racetracks, the final weekend in July was not kind, according to our HandleTrak report. For Monmouth Park, however, its biggest day of racing — Sunday’s Haskell day, which featured that Grade One event, as well as several other graded races — led to boffo business. As a group, Charles Town, Delaware, Monmouth, Parx Racing, and Penn National saw the weekend’s wagering surge more than 50 percent, to more than $22 million, the highest regional total since Preakness day.
That surge, however, is misleading. While Monmouth’s Saturday-Sunday handle more than doubled, to $17.7 million, the region’s other four tracks, collectively, saw a dip in business. Only Parx did not see its weekend business decline, as it ended the weekend essentially flat.
Penn National, Charles Town, and Delaware Park all saw declines in business this weekend. In Delaware’s case, that was anticipated, since last week’s card featured the track’s only Grade One event, the Delaware Handicap, which attracted defending filly and mare champ Royal Delta. Charles Town and Penn National both saw relatively modest declines, of less than 10 percent. This was the third consecutive down Saturday for Penn National’s handle on its live product and the second-slowest Saturday in the last eight.
For Monmouth, meanwhile, its biggest day led to a weekend that was easily its most productive of the 2013 meet. However, although the crowd ticked up slightly from last year’s Haskell day — to 36,284 on Sunday — the handle on the day’s racing was down about two percent from the prior year, to over $12.5 million. Overall, that made this year’s the second-lowest handling Haskell in the last six — ahead of only 2009, when the day generated about $12.3 million in wagering — and the second-lowest attended in that period, ahead of only last year’s 35,253.
TOTAL REGIONAL HANDLE BY WEEKEND