Down to just four tracks hosting live racing, the mid-Atlantic region saw handle dip by nearly a quarter this past weekend, according to our HandleTrak report. The decline was driven in large part by the closure of The Meadowlands, whose season concluded a week ago, though the region also experienced a smaller decline on a track-over-track basis.
Overall, handle in the region — including Laurel Park, Charles Town, Penn National, and Parx Racing — fell from over $7.8 million a week ago to less than $5.9 million this past weekend, a 24.7 percent drop. With only five live race cards over the weekend, that meant that per-card handle averaged less than $1.2 million, a drop of a bit less than 10 percent from the prior weekend.
The biggest driver of the decline was the closure of The Meadowlands. The New Jersey track accounted for nearly $1.5 million in handle last weekend.
Two of the region’s four tracks saw handle rise. Charles Town’s handle rose by about 10 percent, to $984,000, in part because of apparent bridge-jumping on Amherst Street in the Tri-State Futurity. Bettors pumped more than $230,000 — about 23 percent of the track’s handle for the evening — into that race, with Amherst Street a 1-5 favorite. He won the race. Meanwhile, handle at Laurel, which carded a very strong card including four stakes, rose about 3.5 percent versus last week.
Handle at Penn National and Parx Racing dropped by between 15 and 20 percent for the weekend.