Midlantic handle a mixed bag in September
by Frank Vespe
The return of Parx Racing, which raced throughout September after having taken most of August off, helped fuel strong growth in the number of racing days and total handle in the mid-Atlantic last month, though the average daily handle dropped slightly.
Overall, tracks in the region ran 90 days, up from just 74 during August. Total handle in the region rose, too, to nearly $132 million, up from about $113.6 million in August. That led to an average handle of $1,466,012 per race day — a 4.5 percent dip from August.
Parx Racing was the biggest mover during the last month. The track, which raced just five days in August, increased to 16 days of live racing in September. In addition, the track held several of its biggest races, topped by the running of the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby and Grade 1 Cotillion — by far its biggest day of the year. The track handled nearly $30 million during the month, up from $6.7 million in August, and its average rose 39 percent, to $1,871,077.
Charles Town also enjoyed a productive month on all counts. The West Virginia track added six days of live racing during September and saw daily average handle increase nearly 20 percent.
The tracks which suffered the toughest months in September were Monmouth Park and Delaware Park, both nearing the ends of their 2016 seasons. Monmouth, on two fewer days, saw its average daily handle drop over 25 percent to a little over $2.8 million daily. Though still the highest in the region, that was down from about $3.8 million per day in August. And Delaware’s average daily handle was down about 11 percent from August.
The report covers Charles Town, Delaware Park, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, The Meadowlands, Penn National, Parx Racing, and Timonium and is based on Equibase figures.[table id=136 /]