The “Fall Festival of Racing” card that was held at Laurel Park on November 19 saw a handle increase of 19.6 percent when compared to last year’s card. The 11-race program was highlighted by the $250,000 De Francis Dash (gr. III), which brought in $4.513 million. The same race last year saw $3.775 million in handle.
The Fall Festival increased handle continued a trend in Maryland. The October 22 Jim McKay Maryland Million Day card saw handle increase by 18.5 percent this year compared to 2015 and it was 59.8 percent more than the 2014 handle.
The Preakness (gr. I) card at Pimlico Race Course earlier in the year also saw a record total handle of $94,127 million and broke an attendance record with 135,256 spectators. Also seeing an increase was Black-Eyed Susan Day, with handle increasing from $17,815 million in 2015 to $18,661 million in 2016.
The Maryland Jockey Club projects end-of-season handle to reach $425 million, which continues a positive trend, as handle in 2014 was $296 million and $355 million in 2015.
“We were pleased with Saturday’s handle, as well as the crowd that came out to watch a great race card,” said Maryland Jockey Club President/General Manager Sal Sinatra. “We want to thank everyone who came out and enjoyed our renovated facility, those who bet the program online or at simulcast facilities, and those who came out for the Brew & Bourbon Festival. We also want to thank horsemen locally and nationally who continue to support our program.”