By Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink
Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs combined for more than $22 million in all-sources handle on Saturday, for their highest total yet in the 2015-2016 racing season.
The exact number was $22,246,692. Of that, $17,073,244 was for 12 races at Gulfstream and $5,173,448 was for ten races at Tampa Bay, according to Equibase charts.
The previous high for 2015-2016 was $19,394,214 on Jan. 2. That day, Gulfstream did $13,750,166 for eleven races and Tampa Bay did $5,644,048 for ten races.
Tampa Bay began its meet on Nov. 28 and Gulfstream began its meet on Dec. 5.
It came on a rain-free day with the Holy Bull (Grade 2), a major Kentucky Derby prep and four other stakes for 3-year-olds as attractions.
Last year’s Holy Bull Day, Saturday Jan. 24, also was rain free. Gulfstream’s all sources handle that day was $14,628,928 for 11 races.
On this year’s Holy Bull day, Gulfstream had 111 starters, for an average of 9.3 per race. On 2015’s Holy Bull day, it had 117 starters for an average of 10.5 per race.
Here are yesterday’s handle numbers for several other major U.S. tracks: *Santa Anita — $14,194,493 for ten races
*Aqueduct — $9,285,980 for ten races
*Oaklawn Park — $4,521,757 for nine races
All-sources handle is the total of all bets on a track’s races. It includes bets made: live on-site; at other tracks and pari-mutuels; at off-track betting locations and simulcast centers; through Internet and phone advanced deposit wagering (ADW) services; and at Nevada sports books.
ITW (Intra-Track Wagering) is the amount of bets placed on Tampa Bay races at other horse tracks and at greyhound tracks and jai-alai frontons in Florida.
ISW (Inter-State Wagering) is the amount of bets placed on Tampa Bay races by bettors outside Florida, through all of the sources listed above as part of all-sources handle.
Gulfstream does not routinely provide breakdowns on its sources of wagering. Admission is free at Gulfstream, where many fans wander in and out from restaurants and stores at the adjacent Village at Gulfstream Park retail center.
Gulfstream does not estimate the attendance in its racing area. We estimate that attendance yesterday was in the 7,500 range.