12/30/2015 3:24PM

Handle, purses up at Remington


Remington Park reported an increase in handle and purses during its 67-date meet that closed Dec. 13. The track handled an average of $932,470 on its live races from all sources, up 9.8 percent over the corresponding season in 2014.

Purses averaged a meet-record $252,176, up from last year’s $226,576.

Remington, which also operates an ontrack casino, features free admission.

The horse of the meet was Shotgun Kowboy, the winner of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.

◗ Vince Mares resigned as executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission in December, according to the agency. The commission has begun accepting applications for his replacement.

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Every time after a slow down in the economy starts to unwind we get these increases in handle. The industry gets all giddy and uses this as evidence that horse racing isn't dead after all. But let's be realistic the amount bet on horse racing is probably on the decline and has been for decades . If a serious study was done I bet it would show declines in all areas. For example let's see how the handle would look compared to the 70's 80's and 90's if adjusted for inflation. A breakdown of on track and off track handle could be analised. A study could also be made as to other factors like patrons attending the races versus the last few decades this could also be extended to patrons at off track facility's. The fact is despite all the technological advances like internet betting ,simulcasting,liberal gambling legislation,phone betting,horse racing tv Chanel's etc horse racing is still declining in popularity. In my opinion the reason for this was the complete incompetence and greed of the track operators. Their shortsighted solutions like supporting competing forrms of gambling like casinos and racinos . Their refusal to address the integrity issues. Their reluctance to curb the rampant use of medication and drugs. The creation of high takeout low probability of winning bets that canabilize the pools of more traditional bets . All these and many other decisions are killing the sport . Racing fans are put off by the drugs and over medication of their favorite horses and all the breakdowns. The legislators will eventually decouple the casino licenses from the racing licenses and the casino operators will quickly close the tracks and expand or develop the land. And you can bet the casinos will then fight tooth and nails to keep out any new tracks or competing otbs. Even at boutique meeting like Saratoga probably the best horse racing in the country one gets the sence that testing for drugs is deficient and yet the track tries hard to get every penny out of patrons .going as far as to charge for access to a pick nick table in the back and a chair by the paddock. Not to mention the exorbitant price of food and beverages add to that an entry fee and parking and yes $9 for a racing form. Compare that to a casino that lets you in for free with free parking and gives you free booze if you gamble. As a lifelong fan that believes a day at a nice track beats a day spent anywhere else .it saddens me to see this sport die .especially since it contributes so much in so many areas. It supports stud farms ,agriculture and creates jobs for the uneducated or undereducated.and the professionals from veterinarians to trainers .it provides transportation jobs service jobs ,full time jobs and seasonal jobs. And because of the parimutuel betting system the money circulates from one bettor to the other and goes back into the economy .unlike casinos were the hose gets most of the revenue and it gets banked away by a few.