Laurel Park shows summer handle growth
Data and quotes from a Maryland Jockey Club release
Laurel Park’s average daily handle grew 12.4 percent from comparable 2015 figures during the just-completed summer meeting, the Maryland Jockey Club announced Monday.
With a longer meet, that meant that total handle on the company’s live product grew 20.2 percent during the summer. In-state handle, bolstered by a revitalized off-track betting network, increased by 14.2 percent from $18.1 million to $20.7 million.
“We continue to buck industry trends and see increases in our product,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “Horsemen continue to support our growing program with great racing and large fields. Fans are also taking note of our great racing and world-class turf course. We continue to make fan-friendly improvements to our facility while engaging bettors. We will soon begin a Sunday championship challenge handicapping contest, double reward point contests on Sunday football, and our new sports bar will soon be completed.”
The summer stand, which began for July 4 weekend, featured twilight racing each Friday and a three-day-per-week schedule. The lone “special day” on the calendar, Maryland Pride Day, which featured two stakes and nine other races for Maryland-breds, fell on the final Saturday of the meeting. Handle on Maryland Pride Day 2016 fell from over $3 million last year to about $2.86 million.
The fall stand will look considerably different, with numerous big days on the calendar, including four graded events (two Grade 2 events in the Commonwealth Derby and Commonwealth Turf Cup and a pair of Grade 3 races, the Commonwealth Oaks and the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash). It will also feature the 31st edition of the Jim McKay Maryland Million.
“We’re looking forward to our fall and winter meet which will feature a $4 million stakes schedule, Super Saturdays, the Commonwealth Derby (G2), Turf Cup (G2), and Oaks (G3), and the 31st Jim McKay Maryland Million,” Sinatra added. “We believe our field size and the turf racing across our world-class course will be outstanding. We can’t wait to reopen Friday, Sept. 9 for what we believe will be an incredible fall and winter at Laurel Park.”