06/23/2015 11:57AM

Smaller crowd, larger handle at Monmouth

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Father’s Day attendance at Monmouth Park was down markedly from last year, but the all-sources handle on the 12-race card was up.

Attendance was hurt by the weather forecast, not the weather. For days, news outlets predicted heavy rains, thunderstorms, and possible regional flooding for Saturday night into Sunday. Monmouth received about a half-inch of rain Saturday night, but by Sunday morning, skies were partly cloudy, and temperatures were headed into the 80s.

Monmouth had a nice crowd of 16,744, but that was down 43 percent from last year, when 29,962 attended the races. Still, it was a good turnout, and the mood was festive throughout the day.

Ontrack handle Sunday was $907,433, 17 percent less than the $1.1 million wagered in 2014.

Total all-sources handle for the card was $4.2 million, up 8 percent from $3.9 million last year.

“I’m overjoyed with whatever we get today; last night they were calling for floods,” track president Robert Kulina said midway through the card. “We’re still going to have a great day, just not what it would have been. I was overjoyed this morning when I heard that we were going to be able to keep our races on the turf.”