Score this HandleTrak: Weather 4, Racing 1.
Of the five race cards scheduled for the past weekend in the mid-Atlantic, only one — Laurel Park’s Saturday card — actually took place. Cards at Charles Town and Penn National on Saturday evening and at Parx Racing Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon all were canceled for weather-related reasons. Much of the mid-Atlantic region was hit by rather severe winter weather over the weekend, though the Washington-Baltimore area for the most part escaped.
At Laurel, the combination of pre-holiday shopping and the threat of weather troubles led to a lighter than usual crowd in the plant. Wagering followed suit, dipping to less than $847,000 on Saturday’s live product. That represented a 21.5 percent drop from the prior Saturday and the slowest Saturday of the fall meet at Laurel. Indeed, it was the first Saturday in which wagering on Laurel racing dipped below $1 million. The brightest spot may have been the Jackpot Pick Five wager; with Laurel upping the guarantee to $100,000 for a single winner, wagering on that bet rose to more than $21,000, roughly a 30 percent increase.
Weather permitting, Charles Town will host two Saturday stakes this coming weekend.
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