01/31/2005 1:00AM

Millions cards' handle dips


Because of a sharp decline at Santa Anita, total handle on the Sunshine Millions cards Saturday at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita fell about 6 percent from last year.

Handle on the 10-race card at Gulfstream, which included four Sunshine Millions races (Filly-Mare Sprint, Dash, Filly-Mare Turf, Classic), rose about 4 percent from last year, from $13,819,836 to $14,370,119. But betting on the 10 races at Santa Anita, including the Oaks, Sprint, Turf, and Distaff, declined about 14 percent, from $18,481,475 to $15,934,999.

Ontrack, handle at Santa Anita declined about 11 percent to $3,928,356 and attendance dropped about 7 percent from last year, to 17,533. Ontrack comparisons at Gulfstream are meaningless because the track is in the midst of a massive reconstruction project and does not have a grandstand. A total of 8,714 were at Gulfstream Saturday and they bet $1,398,505, almost $1 million less than last year.