06/10/2014 1:33PM

Strong Preakness Day boosts Pimlico handle


Average daily all-sources wagering at Pimlico Race Course for the track’s spring meet was up 6.2 percent compared to last year’s spring meet, according to figures distributed by the track’s parent company on Tuesday.

The average rose from $4.10 million during a 36-day live meet last year to $4.36 million this year for 35 live race days, according to the figures. Total wagering was up 3.0 percent, from $153.9 million to $158.5 million.

Average ontrack handle fell 2.6 percent, but the loss was more than made up in the out-of-state market. Average simulcast betting on the track’s race days was up 6.7 percent.

Pimlico’s spring meet figures are highly skewed by its biggest day of the racing, on the third Saturday of May, when the Preakness Stakes is held. Wagering that day was up 2.7 percent, largely on the strength of the Preakness, which drew 8.3 percent more wagers than in 2013.

Purses at the track were up significantly over last year due to a sharp increase in subsidies from Maryland casinos. Field size increased, from 7.47 during last year’s spring meet to 7.82. Pimlico held 344 races this year, while last year it held 359.