Carryovers Fuel 11% Surge in Handle at Del Mar

by | 08.04.2013 | 10:39pm

Handle figures continued to run ahead of last year's numbers when all the counting was done after Week #3 came to a conclusion at Del Mar Sunday.

Topped by a three-day Pick Six carryover during the week that drew more than $3-million in bets, the track showed yet further gains on the pari-mutuel front with total handle up a healthy 11% after 15 days of Thoroughbred sport.

On-track handle also powered up with a plus 8.7% on its ledger.

The numbers for all-sources handle came in at $194,526,388 for a daily average handle of $12,968,426 thus far. Last year's figures were $175,185,556 for an average of $11,679,037. The on-track handle was headed north also, having risen from $35,213,633 in 2012 to $38,261,839 in 2013. That was a daily average advantage of $2,550,789 over the $2,347,576 of a year ago.

On-track attendance for the meet appears to be close to last year's, but perhaps down a point or two. Final attendance numbers for Sunday were still being gathered due to a post-race concert on the grounds.

Field size, that per-race average that often tells a betting tale, is still running ahead of the last year's numbers. In 2012 after 15 days with 132 races run, there were 1,101 starters for a per-race average of 8.3. To this point in 2013 there also have been 132 races run, but the total runners is up to 1,130 and the per-race average comes in at 8.6.

The track's “Ship and Win” program, where out-of-state horses are encouraged to come to Del Mar and race via bonus incentives, continues to produce positive results. The numbers are similar to last year's digits – 74 S&W horses in 2012 as opposed to 72 this year. But the results for those horses are even better. Last year to this point they'd won five races. This year they've rung the bell 11 times.

Out on the racetrack, two-time riding champion Rafael Bejarano and two-time training king John Sadler both have taken the lead in their respective divisions.

The Peruvian Bejarano has ridden 21 winners from 105 mounts (20%) through 15 cards. Trailing him are Martin Garcia with 13 firsts and Edwin Maldonado and Julien Leparoux, both with 12.

Sadler has visited the winner's circle 14 times after sending out 65 starters (22%). He is two victories in front of seven-time Del Mar training champ Bob Baffert and six in front of Peter Miller, last year's top trainer.

Del Mar's 37-day meet will forge ahead into Week #4 Wednesday with first post scheduled for 2 p.m.

  • Don

    Smart people run this track.

  • AndrewA

    The low take P5 handle is up 50% or more. They always fail to mention the bet. LOL

  • AndrewA

    How do you write a press release on handle and not mention that the P5 handle is up over 50%? The low takeout (14%) P5 handle has increased by at least two to three times that
    of any other wager on the menu. The P5 is the catalyst that brings people to California Racing to make wagers on the later races. The thing about the P6 is that when there is a carryover it’s not just the big pools that attract people it’s the lower “effective” takeout because the carryover money isn’t subject to takeout again. Failure to understand these two basic points that both have something to do with lower takeout and lower “effective” takeout is part of the problem with the people in charge of California Racing. The TOC leads the way when it comes to this problem. And once the fantasy that is Del Mar comes to an end you have to deal with the rest of the racing calendar.

    The other thing is that people really want to know the handle on races run at Del Mar. That’s the most important number. All sources (which includes wagers on other jurisdiction) is important to account for because it’s part of the revenue stream to the host track but the handle on races run at Del Mar is the measure of the health of California Racing during any particular meet.

    We know what works.

    What’s the holdup for more of the same?

  • steve

    To bad the pick-5 is in the first five races with the small fields, otherwise you would see more handle and more carryovers.

  • ryanc

    smart business to have carryovers that attract everyone. just sucks for the people who bet on the days when the track wants a carryover. they aren’t all accidents. the huge pick 5 payouts aren’t accidents either. bigger payouts encourage all the big bettors to invest even more. i wonder if anyone will ever call any of the tracks on this now that they are all being run like casinos where the only goal is to manipulate people into wagering more bc the house always wins.

  • harry

    No question huge California p/6 carryovers will promote business. Also proves just how different the Poly track is to horses and their running form Also only running 5 days per week with 8 races on certain weekdays I think helps. Saratoga running 6 days per week with 10 races everyday and 12 on big days is quite hard if not impossible in today’s racing environment. Both tracks bring great racing and enjoyment to a rather boring rest of year of horse racing. When both tracks end racing is just not as interesting.

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