10/23/2014 3:10PM

Handle drops at Delaware Park


Average daily handle at the Delaware Park meeting, which concluded Wednesday, was down 9.6 percent from 2013.

An average of $1,285,428 per day was wagered on the Delaware Park races during this year’s 80-day season. Last year, an average of $1,421,626 was bet per day during an 81-day meet. This year’s session was scheduled for 81 days but one card was lost due to inclement weather.

Track management attributed the decline in average daily handle to fewer races per day in 2014. This meet, Delaware held an average of 8.21 races per day, compared with 8.91 races per day in 2013.

Total handle at this year’s meet was $102,834,201, a decline of 10.7 percent from last year’s $115,151,678, when an additional day of racing was held.

“Purse reductions due to the increased casino competition in the Mid-Atlantic region and the continued foal crop decrease have continued to make things challenging,” said John Mooney, Delaware Park’s executive director of racing. “Despite those challenges, we had a very exciting meet in 2014 and we have much to look forward to next year. The combined handle on the Delaware Handicap and Delaware Oaks cards improved dramatically.”

The combined handle on the Delaware Handicap and Delaware Oaks cards was $6,452,595 this year, compared to $3,439,604 in 2013, an increase of more than 85 percent.

On the track, Juan Vazquez won his third Delaware Park training title with 49 wins. He also won the title in 2010 and 2011.

Jockey Alex Cintron won the Thoroughbred riding title with 47 wins. If Arabian wins are factored in, Carol Cedeno won the most races at the meet, 50. Cedeno finished third in the Thoroughbred standings with 44 wins behind Cintron and Daniel Centeno, who had 45.

Belle Gallantey, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, won the biggest race of the meet, the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap, over heavy favorite Princess of Sylmar.

Fortune Pearl, trained by Graham Motion, won the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks over Joint Return.