Albuquerque Downs recorded substantial increases in on-track attendance and total handle during opening weekend of its 2019 season, June 28-30.
According to figures reported to Equibase, the racing industry's official information database, Albuquerque Downs drew a total of 9,142 fans from June 28-30, an increase of 63 percent over the 5,595 fans drew during its 2018 opening weekend, June 29-July 1. The June 28 reported opening-night attendance of 3,948 marked a 77 percent increase over the last year's opening-night attendance of 2,227.
Albuquerque Downs' total opening-weekend handle reached $953,163, an 11-percent increase over last year's total opening-weekend handle of $857,874. On-track handle was down 7 percent, from $271,586 in 2018 to $253,422 this year, but off-track handle increased 19 percent, from $586,288 in 2018 to $699,741 this year.
Albuquerque Downs offered handicappers large field sizes for its opening-weekend races, which helped fuel the overall and off-track wagering increases. After late scratches, the track's 15 Thoroughbred races drew 130 entries, for an average field size of 8.7 horses per race. The Downs' 13 Quarter Horses, excluding one 870-yard race, attracted 118 entries, for an average field size of 9.1 horses per race.
NOTES FROM THE DOWNS: The Downs will present its first all-Thoroughbred program of the season on Wednesday. First post is set for 6:05 p.m. (MDT). Four of the nine races have drawn full fields of 12, before scratches. There will be no live racing at The Downs on the Fourth of July.
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