08/19/2007 11:00PM

Del Mar sets has record $24.6M handle


The attraction of Lava Man, the Pacific Classic, two other graded stakes, a guaranteed $1 million pick six pool that was seeded by a carryover from the previous day, and a fleece pullover giveaway yielded big business at Del Mar on Sunday. The track had its largest overall handle ever, and its third-biggest ontrack crowd for the Pacific Classic.

A total of $24,642,601 was bet on the 10-race card, eclipsing the previous single-day record of $24,004,733 set Aug. 21, 2005, which was Pacific Classic Day that year.

The attendance Sunday was 35,320. The record on Pacific Classic Day, and for any day at Del Mar, was the 44,181 that came out to see Cigar attempt to win his 17th straight race in 1996. Pacific Classic Day and opening day are the two biggest draws of the meet. Opening day this year oattracted a crowd of 42,842, the second-most in track history.

The pick six proved a big lure for bettors. The pool Sunday reached $1,663,054, including a one-day carryover of $253,116 from Saturday's card.

Even with longshot Student Council winning the Pacific Classic at the expense of the popular Lava Man, and several other longshots in the pick six sequence, four tickets nailed the pick six, and each was worth $286,534.40.

The pick four pool also was huge, $940,116.