06/25/2013 3:29PM

Golden Gate Fields all-sources handle up 8.17 percent


Spurred by huge increases in account wagering on its live races, Golden Gate Fields showed an 8.17 percent increase in all-sources handle for its 101-day meet that ended June 16. The figure was compared to the 2011-12 meet, which also consisted of 101 days.

The track reported a 1.52 percent increase in the all-sources handle on all races, including Southern California and out-of-state racing.

The increases came despite a mild 3.44 percent drop in ontrack attendance, from 252,968 to 244,267.

Ontrack wagering for live races fell 1.83 percent, with $16,688,097 wagered this year compared with $16,998,482 last year. Wagering on the Northern California satellite network decreased 3.78 percent, with a total of $16,548,269 compared with $17,198,159 last year.

But thanks to a 65.73 percent jump in out-of-state account wagering from $8,758,245 last year to $14,515,085 this year as well as a 23.73 percent increase in California account wagering ($5,173,473 to $6,401,068), live racing at Golden Gate showed a healthy 8.17 percent all-sources total handle increase from $143,588,245 to $155,312,814.

Also helping the increase was a 10.99 percent increase in out-of-state wagering on Golden Gate events, from $104,218,132 in 2011-12 to $115,675,380 this year.

The all-sources total handle, including Southern California and out-of-state racing, was $300,530,579 this year compared with $296,038,885 last year.

“The first three weeks [of the meeting], we were down 15 to 20 percent because of bad weather, but we had a very strong finish,” said former Golden Gate general manager Joe Morris, who recently took over as president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California “The last two Sundays our attendance was over 10,000 and then over 9,000 the final day.”

Morris said the fact that Golden Gate was carried on TVG as well as HRTV, the increase in field size to 7.2 horses per race, and some special wagering opportunities such as the all-grass pick four on San Francisco Mile Day accounted for the increase in out-of-state wagering and account wagering.