08/13/2012 1:33PM

Del Mar betting continues to rise


DEL MAR, Calif. – Del Mar’s overall betting handle remains strong through the first four weeks of the meet, with a daily average of $11,552,952, a 3.1 percent increase over the average of $11,210,932 through the first 20 days of the meet last year.

On track, Del Mar’s daily average handle is $2,301,515, a healthy 10.6 percent increase from the average of $2,080,664 for the first 20 days last year.

One of the main reasons for the strong handle figures has to be field size, which this year is averaging 8.37 horses per race, compared to 8.2 for the same period last year.

Those handle figures should get a significant boost at the start of Week 5, since there are large carryovers in both the pick six and the pick five for Wednesday’s card.

Attendance is down slightly for the meet, but the trend has been in a positive direction since opening week. The daily average attendance is 18,828, a dip of 3.1 percent from last year’s 19,430 through the first 20 days. But the comparable attendance figures were down 6.4 percent after Week 1, 4.3 percent after Week 2, and 4.1 percent after Week 3, so the gap is narrowing each week.