08/25/2016 8:04PM

California handle rises 12 percent in July


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.