With racing’s eyes turned to Saratoga — for Travers weekend — and to a lesser extent Del Mar (for the Pacific Classic), mid-Atlantic handle tumbled this weekend by more than 13 percent even though the region’s tracks ran two extra cards, according to our HandleTrak report.
With the onset of the Timonium meet marking the return of live racing to Maryland, the mid-Atlantic states hosted 10 racing cards on Saturday and Sunday, up from eight the prior week. But Charles Town, Delaware, Monmouth, Parx, Penn National, and Timonium saw per-card handle dip by about a third as total handle dropped to just shy of $13.7 million, the lowest it’s been in the more than two months that The Racing Biz has tracked it.
All five of the region’s tracks that operated both this weekend and last saw business fall. Delaware experienced the steepest decline, with its Saturday handle falling by more than 32 percent, to less than $640,000 — its lowest total in more than two months.
Parx experienced the smallest decline in terms of percentage; business fell by 14 percent at the Bensalem track. Handle on Monmouth’s two live cards was $8.3 million — down more than 17 percent from last week but easily the region’s highest.
Notably, bridge-jumpers once again hit Charles Town, pumping more than $400,000 into the mutuel pool of Saturday’s Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes; Jax and Jill went off at 1-9 in that race and won comfortably.