08/20/2012 12:28PM

Del Mar: Carryovers spur increase in meeting handle

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Fueled by a pair of pick six carryovers last week, Del Mar’s average overall handle continued to rise this meeting, to an average of $11,696,306 per day, a healthy 6 percent hike from an average of $11,032,487 through the comparable first five weeks of last year’s meet.

There was a pick six carryover of $240,680 going into last Wednesday’s card, as well as a rare pick five carryover, which came to $362,503. After a blockbuster business day on Wednesday, Del Mar had another sensational day on Sunday, with an overall handle of $16,166,783, much of that generated by players chasing a two-day pick six carryover of $442,770.

The pick six on Sunday lured $2,244,482 in fresh money. There were 18 winning tickets, each worth $91,156.60.

As a result of the handle increases, Del Mar announced on Sunday night that there will be a “substantial retroactive purse payment” upon the conclusion of the meet on Sept. 5.

Ontrack handle is averaging $2,313,319, an increase of 13.7 percent from $2,033,739 through the same dates last year.

The handle increases also can be attributed to field size, which is averaging 8.42 horses per race, up from last year’s 8.2.

Ontrack attendance is down slightly, at 18,312 per day, a dip of 2.8 percent from last year, but that number has been gradually inching toward even since opening week, when attendance was off 6.4 percent despite a record all-time crowd on opening day.