05/26/2009 11:00PM

Pimlico's average handle rises


All-sources average daily wagering on races during Pimlico Race Course's 21-day spring meet that ended on Saturday rose 37.9 percent, according to figures supplied by the track on Wednesday.

The average, $6.04 million, was bolstered by an 18 percent jump in wagering on the May 16 card, which featured the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. In addition, last year's meet had 31 days, 10 more than this year's meet. The average during last year's meet was $4.38 million.

Total wagering on Pimlico's races during the 21-day meet was $126.9 million, compared with $135.8 million last year. Of that total this year, $86.7 million was wagered on the Preakness card, and $59.7 million was wagered on the Preakness itself.

Not counting the handle totals for the Preakness card in both years, average all-sources wagering for the other 20 days of the meet in 2009 was $2.06 million, down 3.7 percent compared with average daily wagering of $2.14 million for the 30 days other than the Preakness card in 2008.