01/10/2017 6:02PM

2016 betting at Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream Park West sets record

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Total wagering on races held at Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream Park West at Calder Race Course in 2016 was a record $1.51 billion, up 13 percent compared with the total wagering on the tracks’ races last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by Gulfstream’s owner, The Stronach Group.

This is the second year in a row that handle on races run at the two South Florida tracks rose by double digits. Last year, total handle on the tracks was $1.34 billion, up 14 percent over the total from 2014.

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Gulfstream Park leases the racing facilities at Calder Race Course from its owner, Churchill Downs. The two companies signed an agreement for the lease in 2014 after both suffered while attempting to run head-to-head race meets. Handle in South Florida has been steadily growing since Gulfstream took over management of the racing circuit.

The release of the Gulfstream figures came one day after The Stronach Group announced double-digit gains in betting on races at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, two tracks in Maryland owned by the company. In addition, the company said, betting by Maryland residents on Thoroughbred racing jumped 18.7 percent during the year.

The gains by the tracks owned by The Stronach Group buck national trends. Wagering overall on U.S. races in 2016 was nominally flat compared with 2015, up 0.6 percent, according to figures released last week by Equibase.