With four of five operating tracks enjoying increases this weekend, mid-Atlantic handle grew more than 12 percent, to more than $12.4 million, according to our latest HandleTrak report. The seven cards run at Charles Town, Delaware, Monmouth, Parx Racing, and Penn National averaged more than $1.7 million in handle.
While up considerably from the prior weekend, it nevertheless was the second slowest weekend the tracks have recorded on a gross handle basis since The Racing Biz began tracking the data in early June.
Delaware led all tracks in both its dollar and percentage increases. Its Owners Day card, featuring a half-dozen stakes, attracted more than $1.4 million in wagering. That was more than double the track’s prior Saturday handle. What’s more, it was over 40 percent higher than last year’s Owners Day card handled.
Three of the other four tracks also enjoyed solid weekend. The $2.8 million Parx handled this weekend marked its best weekend handle in over three months; the track’s Saturday card, spurred by the presence of the $250,000 PTHA President’s Cup, attracted nearly $2 million in wagering. And Penn National enjoyed its best Saturday since The Racing Biz began tracking the data, topping $1.1 million in handle.
Monmouth, which is in the homestretch of its meet — October 5 is closing day — saw wagering fall for the second consecutive weekend, to a bit more than $5.8 million. Though still the region’s highest weekend haul, it was the lowest Monmouth has recorded in the three months The Racing Biz has tracked it.
In the coming weekend, Laurel will reopen with a major card, including the De Francis Dash, and Parx (G1 Cotillion and G2 Pennsylvania Derby) and Charles Town (two $400,000 stakes) will both run important races. Those factors are expected to lead to a solid weekend at the windows in the region.
REGIONAL HANDLE BY WEEKEND
The closing of The Cracked Claw in Urbana a couple of years ago is a major reason for handle decrease!