Rachel and Calvin bringin’ home the bacon. (Sarah K. Andrew)
I don’t subscribe to the theory that any one thing can “save” racing, but a quick look at the attendance and handle figures from the last two Saturdays at Belmont indicate that having well publicized stars around helps not only attendance but the bottom line.
Belmont Park Attendance: 4703
On Track Mutuel Pool: $863,292
ITW Mutuel Pool: $2,116,700
ISW Mutuel Pool: $5,246,269
Belmont Park Attendance: 13352
On Track Mutuel Pool: $1,357,534
ITW Mutuel Pool: $2,657,212
ISW Mutuel Pool: $8,361,822
That’s an increase of:
8649 / 65% increase in attendance
$494,242 / 36% of on track handle
$3,115,553 / 37% increase in interstate wagering
I’m never sure if IST/ISW includes ADW wagering, I assume it does. ITW, or tracks within New York, didn’t show a notable increase. Sure, per capita wagering could always be better but you gotta start somewhere!
Players definitely took advantage of getting a freebie in multi-race wagers with the Pick 4 and Pick 6 pools pretty much doubling.
Pick 4 Pool:
Saturday June 20th, 2009: $257,050
Saturday June 27th, 2009: $484,588
$227,538 / 47% increase
Pick 6 Pool:
Saturday June 20th, 2009: $61,617
Saturday June 27th, 2009: $138,250
$76,633 / 55% increase
The feature on the 20th was a Grade 3, not a Grade 1… perhaps a comparison to this coming Saturday, July 4th with the Suburban, Prioress and Dwyer + a holiday would be a better comparison. Either way, I think it’s safe to say that having/keeping stars around can only help.