05/11/2016 1:56PM

Daily handle up sharply at Laurel meet


Average daily handle at the Laurel Park meet, which ended Sunday, was $2.37 million, an increase of 34.5 percent from the 2015 average of $1.76 million, according to figures released by the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates the track.

Total handle for the meet, in-state betting, and out-of-state betting also were up, although comparisons are difficult because of a difference in the schedule from last year. Laurel raced on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule this year, and the season ran through May 8. Last year’s Laurel meet concluded at the end of March. Laurel also took a three-week break this year from mid-February to early March.

Total handle at the meet was $151 million, a 9 percent gain. In-state betting totaled $46.7 million, up 25 percent, and handle on the exported simulcast signal climbed 12 percent, according to the Maryland Jockey Club figures.

“We continue to see growth in the Maryland Thoroughbred industry both locally and nationally,” said Sal Sinatra, president of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Racing is being revitalized with better-quality racing, more participation from horsemen around the country, and our growing offtrack betting network.”

Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I played some of their stuff. As a tri/super player will only play 11 or plus field sizes by default. They rolled a lot of 10 fields, which changes the way some people bet to DD's and Pk3's. I wish cards would be written to balance player needs. If your going to run 10 races, attempt to run 3 with 12 or plus, 3 with 10, and rest the 6,7,8's. At least there is balance and players have options. If the industry focused on this issue like they did with the dumb lasix debates, there would be even more growth. It's a fact that most players outside of catching cheaters want large fields to have value so there is chances to make profit. With takeouts you start with a loss. I haven't played NY in years because how bad their product has been. At one time it was great but not now. It suits win betters and $40 exacta players but not the average players. If it wasn't for the Stronach tracks, I dunno how much I could play. I feel Gulfstream by far is tops. People are dying to bet but if they don't get the product they don't play. Maybe it is a owner shortage or foal crop issue. I just know there is other ways. Roll out three days weeks not 5 and fill up cards. I bet you still get the same returns. I root for all Stronach tracks and hope they one day can get to be like Gulfsteam.