04/18/2013 2:36PM

Oaklawn Park daily average handle up 2 percent


Average all-sources handle during the recently concluded Oaklawn Park meet in Hot Springs, Ark., was $2.85 million, the track announced on Thursday, up 2.3 percent from the comparable figure last year.

Although average all-sources handle rose, average attendance for the 54-day meet declined 2.4 percent to 10,319, a figure that is still one of the highest for attendance among U.S. racetracks. The average benefited from attendance of 66,158 on the closing day of the meet, Arkansas Derby Day.

Rains later in the meet resulted in the cancellation of two of the track’s Saturday infield events in March, the track said, hurting attendance figures.

In a release, Oaklawn said that it distributed $1 million more in purses at the meet this year compared to 2012, for a record total. Purses in maiden special weight races and allowances races were also records for the track. Devices similar to slot machines at Oaklawn contribute to purses at the meet.

Oaklawn raced 54 days this year after cancelling two cards early in its meet when heavy rains did damage to its main track.