By Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink
After the first month of Gulfstream Park’s 2019-2020 championship meet, daily average total handle is up 4.7 percent meet-to-date from last season.
HorseRacingFLA’s review of Equibase charts shows that Gulfstream’s current championship meet has averaged $8.9 million per day in total handle through the 22 race days ended Sunday, Dec. 29.
During Gulfstream’s 2018-2019 championship meet, its total handle (all-sources handle) averaged $8.5 million through the 22 race days ended Sunday, Dec. 30. 2018
The first month racing schedules have been almost identical for the two race meets.
Breakdowns are not readily available on how much of that money was bet at Gulfstream and how much was bet elsewhere – such as other racetracks, off-track betting locations, Internet and phone accounts and Las Vegas sports books.
Gulfstream, in Hallandale Beach, Fla., has not released any official handle numbers for the current race meet.
Gulfstream officials have consistently told HRFLA that our periodic reports on the track’s handle are accurate.
Gulfstream will end its 88-day championship meet on March 29, 2020.
For its 88-day meet in 2018-2019, Gulfstream’s average daily total handle was $10.34 million.
The Gulftream record for any of its meets was $10.56 million per day, for the 2017-2018 championship meet.
On most days this December, Gulfstream’s total handle has been first among U.S. thoroughbred tracks or second, behind Aqueduct in Ozone Park, N.Y.
Gulfstream’s next race day is Wednesday Jan. 1. January and February are traditionally its two strongest months for day-to-day handle.
Gulfstream’s average handle numbers are boosted by wagering that has hit $40 million on Pegasus World Cup day and on Florida Derby day. Those race days will be Jan. 25 and March 28 in 2020.