08/26/2013 12:26PM

Del Mar handle still up heading into home stretch

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DEL MAR, Calif. – As Del Mar heads into the final seven days of a meeting that ends on Sept. 4, it continues to show gains for both overall handle and ontrack handle, and is almost even in ontrack attendance, all compared to its 2012 numbers.

Del Mar through Sunday – the end of the sixth week of racing – is averaging $12,775,374 per day in handle, an increase of 6.8 percent over last year. Del Mar handled $19.7 million on Sunday’s Pacific Classic card, one day after the track had to refund $1 million in wagers owing to a starting-gate malfunction in Saturday’s final race.

Ontrack handle is averaging $2,530,490 per day, an increase of 5.6 percent from last year.

Field size is a driving force in the increased business. Del Mar is averaging 8.7 runners per race this year, compared to 8.5 a year ago.

Attendance is averaging 18,122 per day compared to an average of 18,209 per day through the same period a year ago. There was a crowd of 29,319 at the Pacific Classic, lured not only by a great card of racing, but also a T-shirt giveaway.