HANDLE and ATTENDANCE

Attendance is up almost 14%, but total handle is down 11%…Who knows why? The handle for the first ten days is down (according to Equibase figures) $1.48 million, but $1 million of that was a big hit on Turf Cup day…On that day, Colonial’s total handle was $2.5 million when it had been $3.5 million the year before. The culprit was Churchill Downs who, on the same day as the $750,00 Colonial Turf Cup Gr. III, carded six graded stakes races attracting 11,000 fans and over $12 million in wagers. Ouch.

The rest of the days showed a modest decline until Sunday when 2007 turned the tables on 2006. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week all showed gains over 2006, with Monday attracting some $400,000 more than the year prior.

Only good news on the attendance side – after 10 days of racing 2006, 16,542 fans had passed through the New Kent turnstiles. This year after 10 days, 18,794 have visited the track. That’s a substantial increase.