02/24/2017 2:00PM

Handle at California tracks plummets 20 percent in January


ARCADIA, Calif. – Handle at all California racetracks sustained a significant decline in January, a month in which wet conditions plagued the sport throughout the state.

According to figures released at Thursday’s California Horse Racing Board meeting, all-sources handle at Thoroughbred meetings at Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita, the Quarter Horse and lower-level Thoroughbred meeting at Los Alamitos, and the Standardbred meeting at Cal-Expo was $219,250,713, a decline of 20 percent from January 2016.

The figure includes ontrack, simulcast, and account-wagering venues, all of which showed declines over last year.

There were two fewer days of racing at Santa Anita, cancellations caused by wet weather, and three fewer programs at night meetings.

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Santa Anita was a bright spot. According to racing board executive director Rick Baedeker, Santa Anita’s ontrack average daily handle grew by 1 percent in January, from $1,131,214 in 2016 to $1,145,184 this year, despite the frequent rain.

All-sources average handle at Santa Anita fell 1 percent from 2016 to $9,720,745.