01/26/2009 1:00AM

Gulfstream business increases


Despite an unsettled economy, business at Gulfstream Park has shown a marked increase through the first 15 days of the meeting compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

Buoyed by a big Sunshine Millions Day on Saturday, ontrack handle is up approximately 9 percent for the meet, with all-sources handle rising 6 percent through Saturday, according to track officials.

Ontrack handle for Saturday's 10-race Sunshine Millions program was nearly $1.45 million, up from $1.32 million in 2008. The all-sources handle of $13.6 million compared favorably with the $12.3 bet on Sunshine Millions Day last year.

"Running five days a week instead of six as in past years has really been a big help when it comes to business," said Gulfstream's president and general manager, Bill Murphy. "It relieves pressure on the horse population, leads to bigger fields - which increases horseplayers' interest - and it builds our purse account for the future."