Editor’s Note– By the Numbers will be a regular feature of HorseracingFLA.com
Each week, we will review the previous week’s numbers for handle and field sizes at Florida’s thoroughbred tracks. Using data from Equibase charts, we will compare a track’s numbers with those of other tracks around the country and with its own numbers from previous periods. This will be an important gauge of the economic performance of
Florida’s thoroughbred racing industry.
Our review begins with the Gulfstream Park West meet that opened on Oct. 7. We will add the Tampa Bay Downs meet, starting Nov. 28 and the Gulfstream Park championship meet, starting Dec. 5.
— Jim Freer
By Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink
The Gulfstream Park West meet is off to a fast wagering start, with daily average all-sources handle for its first six days that is 22 percent higher than for the same period last year.
Daily average all-sources handle was approximately
$3.15 million for this year’s first six days, from Wednesday Oct. 7 through Monday Oct. 12. In 2014, the average was $2.59 million for six days from Wednesday Oct. 8 to Monday Oct. 13.
Our review of Equibase charts also shows that last week’s GP West handle was fourth highest among U.S. tracks. It trailed Belmont Park, Keeneland and Santa Anita Park.
This is the second year for the GP West meet. Gulfstream Park is again holding it at Calder Casino & Race Course under a lease agreement between the two South Florida tracks.
Handle apparently is starting off higher this year largely because simulcast bettors are more aware that GP West is basically a continuation of the Gulfstream Park summer meet that ended Oct. 3, rather than a meet run by Calder which has a less popular national image.
The GP West meet will resume this afternoon, with a 1:15 p.m. first post. The schedule will be Wednesdays through Sundays until Nov. 29.
Here are daily numbers, from Equibase charts, for GP West. There were ten races each day that is listed below.
GP West all-sources handle 2014
* Wednesday, Oct. 8 — $1,434,678
* Thursday, Oct. 9 — $2,192,435
* Friday, Oct. 10 — $2,930,049
* Saturday, Oct. 11 — $3,475,300
* Sunday, Oct. 12 — $2,630,421
* Monday, Oct. 13 — $2,872,936
Average — $2,589,303
GP West All-Sources Handle 2015
* Wednesday, Oct. 7 — $2,400,744
* Thursday, Oct. 8 — $2,920,839
* Friday, Oct. 9 — $3,109,681
* Saturday, Oct. 10 — $4,666,757
* Sunday, Oct. 11 — $3,198,861
*Monday, Oct. 12 — $2,626,306
Average — $3,153,865
The handle for the 2014 meet’s first two days was low–about $1.4 million and $2.2 million–partly because of a problem with access codes on some automated betting terminals at Calder and at several tracks and other locations that were taking the simulcast signal.
This afternoon, we will post a sidebar to this article with the headline: Analysis of First Week’s Numbers at GP West