08/29/2011 1:08PM

Pacific Classic day handle down


DEL MAR, Calif. – Ontrack attendance soared, but all-sources handle was down to its lowest level in more than a decade on Sunday’s Pacific Classic program at Del Mar compared with the corresponding day in 2010.

Sunday’s ontrack attendance was 29,267, a gain of 23 percent from the 23,678 who attended the 2010 Pacific Classic, which was run on a Saturday. This year’s attendance figure was boosted to some extent by a sports-bag giveaway.

Sunday’s all-sources handle was $18,088,301, a decline of 6.7 percent from the 2010 figure of $19,405,711. Sunday’s all-sources handle was the lowest on a Pacific Classic day since more than $17.5 million was bet in 2000.

The track’s president, Joe Harper, said the closure of some offtrack betting locations in the Northeast because of Hurricane Irene had a negative impact on the day’s business.

Overall, all-sources average handle for the meeting through Sunday was $11,124,230, down 4.7 percent compared with the similar point at the 2010 meeting. The 37-day season runs through Sept. 7. Ontrack average handle was $2,061,273, a decline of 4.2 percent.

Average ontrack attendance was down approximately a half of a percentage point, from 18,606 in 2010 to 18,492 this year, a difference of 114 people per day.