08/25/2016 8:04PM

California handle rises 12 percent in July

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DEL MAR, Calif. - Handle at all California racetracks rose more 12 percent in July compared to the same month in 2015, according to statistics announced at Thursday’s California Horse Racing Board meeting.

The increase helped reduce the decline in handle for the year to slightly more than 2 percent. Through June, overall handle was down 4.6 percent for the year.

Handle throughout the state in July reached $287,299,154, a gain of 12.2 percent over last year. The figure includes handle on the Southern California Thoroughbred circuit, the Northern California fairs, and the Los Alamitos night meeting of lower-class Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

Handle on daytime Thoroughbred racing rose 11.6 percent, to $260.5 million, largely because of a change in the racing schedule in Southern California.

Santa Anita ran the first two weekends of the month before Del Mar started its summer meeting on July 15. In 2015, Los Alamitos ran for the first two weeks of July before the start of Del Mar’s summer meeting. Santa Anita's handle is generally higher than at Los Alamitos.

For the first seven months of this year, handle at all California tracks was down 2.25 percent, to $1.77 billion. Handle on Thoroughbred and fair meetings was down 2.47 percent, to $1.58 billion. Handle on harness races and the night Los Alamitos meeting was down 0.34 percent, to $185.4 million.

For the year, ontrack handle is down 6.3 percent statewide, while handle from out of state is down 2.2 percent. The one category to show growth is account wagering, which rose 2.3 percent, to $372.1 million.

Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I haven't played much Delmar. Too many small fields going around on the weekends. I understand the smaller fields are helping grow the sport since less known trainers and owners can get some wins, which makes for a vibrant game but what is the end game? Hard to play many tri's anymore. Even with 12 going a lot times you can toss half. People who dont play the Pick 6 are getting short end of the stick over the long run. I keep hearing it's going to change but when? With foal crop down does that mean another few years of inconsitency before we start seeing the large fields of old with 12-14?
Chris More than 1 year ago
smaller fields?  I think the avg is still like 8.2 or something like that.  
RingForFrodo More than 1 year ago
Compare the numbers between Del Mar and Saratoga's exacta pools.  Del Mar's exacta pools are only about 47%-48% as high as Saratoga's.  Why?  Because California's short-sighted leaders gouge it's customers with a much higher exacta takeout than New York. The only possible long term result that comes from this idiotic business model,  Lower handle,  and of course,  Lower Purses, which by the way are down 15% there in the last two years.