08/27/2012 12:54PM

Del Mar business boosted by Pacific Classic Day


DEL MAR, Calif. – Fueled by an ontrack crowd of 34,482 and an overall handle of $22,363,307 for the Pacific Classic card on Sunday, Del Mar’s business figures continued their forward march from the previous week, with the daily handle now averaging $12,019,469 per day, an 8.1 percent increase from the comparable first 30 days of the 2011 meeting.

Sunday’s handle was the seventh-largest in track history, and was the largest single day since the 2008 season. It was propelled by a two-day carryover in the pick six of $570,012, which generated $2,946,679 in fresh money. There were 22 winning tickets in the pick six, each paying $97,462.80.

The Pacific Classic handle marked a 23.4 percent increase from a year ago, and the attendance was up 17.8 percent from last year’s race.

Ontrack handle also is soaring, averaging $2,395,346 per day, up 16.2 percent from last year.

“With six weeks now in the books, we can confidently say that there will be a substantial retroactive purse payment for everyone who earns overnight purse money at this meeting,” Mike Ernst, Del Mar’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a press release. “And that goes forward all the way to the end of the meet.”

Attendance is averaging 18,209 per day, down 1.5 percent from last year, but that gap has narrowed every week since opening week.

Del Mar has seven more days of racing. The meet ends on Sept. 5.