The brief Timonium meet wrapped up on Monday, with a festive crowd braving the heat.  Here’s Maryland’s state fair meet, statistically speaking…

20132012Pct Change
Total races835648.21%
Starters per race6.497.04-7.70%
Average attendance1782.92467.5-27.74%
Total handle $  3,676,877.00 $  2,580,031.0042.51%
Average daily handle $      367,687.70 $      430,005.17-14.49%
Highest attendance3180288110.38%
Highest handle $      499,305.00 $      482,007.003.59%
Lowest attendance5861921-69.50%
Lowest handle $      267,892.00 $      349,811.00-23.42%
Average on-track $        96,996.10 $      135,012.33-28.16%


Couple notes on those numbers.  First, the 2012 Timonium meet was scheduled for seven days of live racing, but one, the first Sunday of the meet, was abandoned after three races because of inclement weather.  That may (or may not) have had a salutary effect on field size, since it’s possible — likely even — that some of the horses slated to run in the abandoned races showed up in other races later in the meet.

Second, the three additional days run this year during the fair meet — an experiment encouraged (and subsidized) by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association after several years of running just seven days — had significantly lower handle and attendance than did the weekend days.  The added days were August 26, 28, and 29 — Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Those three days averaged attendance of about 650, with average handle of a shade under $300,000.  They also had a slightly negative effect on field size.

Including only the days run on both years provides a somewhat more accurate year-over-year comparison.  On that basis, both attendance and average handle declined about six percent this year, to about 2,300 and $405,000, respectively.

One of the arguments in favor of the additional days is that the Timonium meet provides an opportunity for the “little guys” to scoop up added purse money.  Since our faithful correspondent Lead Pony took the time each day to compile runners and purses earned by the “big guys” and the “mom and pop” trainers, we tally them here with the caveat that we don’t know the exact criteria used and, therefore, cannot vouch for their accuracy.  According to Lead Pony, mom-and-pop shops took home about 22 percent of the available purse money, or a bit over $280,000.  Of course, the decision to add three days put substantially more purse money in play.

Meet Leaders

Finally, the Timonium meet leaders…

  • Wins (horse): 2, Mine N Gems and Meant Every Tear
  • Money earned (horse): $22,800, Mine N Gems
  • Starts (horse): 2, 51 tied
  • Wins (jockey): 16, JD Acosta
  • Money earned (jockey): $271,215, JD Acosta
  • Wins (trainer): 9, Hugh McMahon
  • Money earned (trainer): $160,710, Hugh McMahon
  • Wins (owner): 3, Midwest Thoroughbreds, PTK LLC, and King Star
  • Money earned (owner): $63,960, Midwest Thoroughbreds

(Featured photo by Jim McCue.)