Gulfstream Park announced on Wednesday that a record $1.508 billion was wagered on its live races in 2016, for a 13 percent increase from its previous record of $1.338 billion in 2015.
The totals include all bets on Gulfstream races—on-track as well as off-track sources including simulcasts and Advance Deposit Wagering. Gulfstream, in Hallandale Beach, Fla., did not provide any breakdowns on those components of handle.
The handle on races at Gulfstream was the main part of a record $1.774 billion that was wagered via Gulfstream Park in 2016. That was a 9 percent increase over the previous record of $1.625 billion in 2015.
The non-live handle is on various simulcasts that Gulfstream distributes, including those on the Latin American Racing Channel.
Gulfstream noted that its record annual handle was produced in part by signature racing events and multi-stakes days. Among those events were the Florida Derby, Fountain of Youth, Opening Day Claiming Crown, Sire Stakes, Sunshine Millions and Holy Bull.
For example, Gulfstream had total handle of $32.082,270 on Saturday April 2, a multiple stakes day topped by the Florida Derby (Grade 1). That was Gulfstream’s highest ever single-day handle, except for days on which it held the Breeders’ Cup.
“Our record handle in 2016 shows us we’re on the right path in growing our Championship Meet and reinvigorating summer racing in Florida,” said P.J. Campo, general manager of Gulfstream.
“We continue to see the top horses and stables race each winter at Gulfstream, but we’re also witnessing more interest in our summer program now that it has become established and producing quality racing and young stars,” added Campo, who also is vice president of racing for The Stronach Group, Gulfstream’s parent company.