With blustery weather, erratic racing schedules over the last month, and the racing nation’s eyes turned south and west, it was a middling weekend for handle in the mid-Atlantic, according to our HandleTrak report.  The region’s five cards generated a total of less than $5 million in wagering, an average of $946,000.  For comparison purposes, Gulfstream’s Saturday handle exceeded $13 million, and Santa Anita’s was about $15 million.

Laurel Park had the biggest single day in the region, generating more than $1.2 million in handle.  But that number had to be something of a disappointment, given the four stakes on the card.  That was among the slowest of the track’s major Saturday cards since it shifted from spreading stakes out across the meet to grouping them in a handful of big days.  Of the four stakes, the Miracle Wood, for three year-olds, drew the most wagering interest.

Penn National was the only other of the region’s four operating tracks to exceed $1 million in handle on a weekend card, with its Saturday card drawing nearly $1.1 million.  By contrast, the Saturday card at Parx drew less than $650,000 in wagering.

A couple of wagers not drawing much public interest are the Pick 6 at Parx Racing and the Super High 5 at Laurel.  Saturday’s Pick 6 at Parx drew just $418, which still exceeded the $237 in the pool on Sunday.  Why they continue to offer it — and why anyone would play it — are curious questions.  In the Laurel Super High 5, a newer wager which hasn’t gotten much traction, there was $758 in Saturday’s pool.

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