11/04/2013 3:04PM

Santa Anita: All-sources handle rises at fall meet

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita ended its 24-day autumn meeting Sunday with a gain in all-sources handle and steady results in ontrack attendance, track president George Haines said Sunday.

The track did not release detailed attendance and handle figures for the meeting, which included the Breeders’ Cup programs on Friday and Saturday. Santa Anita hosted the Breeders’ Cup races in 2012.

Haines said that all-sources handle for the autumn meeting showed a gain of approximately 12 percent and that ontrack attendance was “even with last year.”

In mid-October, Haines said that ontrack attendance was down 11 percent through the first three weeks of the meeting. At the time, all-sources handle was up 14 percent compared to the first half of the 2012 autumn meeting.

According to a statement released by the track, out-of-state handle increased 16 percent.

The largest segment of growth in handle occurred through account wagering, which Haines said increased by 37 percent. Haines said that overall handle has increased enough to create a surplus in the purse pool, although it was unclear whether the figure would be high enough to cause a retroactive purse increase.

Ontrack handle for the meeting was flat compared to 2012, he said.

For the two days of Breeders’ Cup races, all-sources handle grew 11 percent, from $144,272,332 in 2012 to $160,704,877 this year. Combined attendance for the two days grew 5 percent, from 89,742 in 2012 to 94,628 this year.

Field size for the meet was unchanged from 2012, at 8.96 runners per race. The track ran 220 races, two more than last year.

Mucho Macho Man, winner of Saturday’s BC Classic, was named horse of the meeting. He also won the Awesome Again Stakes here Sept. 28.

Rafael Bejarano led all riders with 26 wins, four more than Edwin Maldonado. Gary Stevens, who won the BC Distaff aboard Beholder on Friday and rode Mucho Macho Man in the BC Classic, led all riders with eight stakes wins.

Bob Baffert was leading trainer with 15 wins, including two in the Breeders’ Cup – New Year’s Day (Juvenile) and Secret Circle (Sprint). Doug O’Neill and Peter Miller tied for second in the trainer standings with 13 wins.

Santa Anita reopens for live racing on Dec. 26, a meeting that will continue until June 29. The Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2014.