02/24/2016 2:26PM

Santa Anita attendance up, handle down


ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita has posted a gain in ontrack attendance, but declines in ontrack and all-sources handle with more than half of its winter-spring meeting completed.

Through Sunday, the 35th day of the 63-day meeting, ontrack attendance has risen 9 percent compared with the corresponding period of the 2014-15 meeting, according to vice president of marketing Nate Newby. Ontrack handle has declined 4 percent, while all-sources handle, including simulcast and account-wagering sources, is down 2 percent.

The meeting began on Dec. 26 and continues through April 10.

Newby said one reason for the rise in attendance is the track’s emphasis on promotions to reach new fans. The weather has been largely favorable. A wet winter was predicted from an El Nino weather system, but with the exception of a three days in early January, there has been minimal rainfall on race days.

Two of the meeting’s biggest days have yet to be run – the Santa Anita Handicap card on March 12 and the Santa Anita Derby card on April 9. Each race is worth $1 million. A handicapping contest on March 19-20 is expected to boost ontrack handle, Newby said.

Last year, Santa Anita ran from Dec. 26 to late June. This year, Los Alamitos will have a three-week meeting from April 14 to May 1 before Santa Anita runs a spring-summer meeting from May 5 to July 10.

Mark W. More than 1 year ago
lower the minimum wager to .50 cents to draw new customers and expand the possibilities for regular players. For years you have been trying to get more from less. How about getting less from more and build your base. You might be amazed.
VICTOR More than 1 year ago
exactly, most major tracks have 50 cent tri's, some p3's
Zizi Howell More than 1 year ago
Yes. I spent the weekend at Golden Gate a few weeks ago and had a fun putting together a .20 cent Pick 6 ticket--that I could afford! And it still paid really well, considering!
Marty More than 1 year ago
California racing needs to give the fans something to wager on. Short fields, declining quality to start with doesn't energize the wagering public. So many unfit horses on the track by proof of voided claims. How much longer can Ca.T-bred racing exist? I quit them several months ago after supporting them for 40 plus years. Very sad situation!
John Piassek More than 1 year ago
Compared to five or so years ago, when they had bad synthetic surfaces and were the subject of a horseplayer boycott, California racing is in good shape. This meet at Santa Anita, too, has been a good one--lots of good fields and races.
VICTOR More than 1 year ago
but still more opportunities ITW