Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs combined for more than $25 million in handle on Saturday.
The exact number was $25,133,471--the highest combined total for the two tracks in the 2015-2016 season.
Gulfstream had all-sources handle of $19,954,971 for 13 races. That is its highest for its 2015-2016 championship meet that began on Dec. 5.
It came on a day with six stakes races, topped by the Donn Handicap (Grade 1) that was won by Mshawish.
Tampa Bay had 5,178,500 in all-sources handle for eleven races. It was one of its biggest days in the meet that began Nov. 28, and it came about even though morning rains forced a move of the three scheduled-for-turf races to the dirt.
The two track’s previous best 2015-2016 day was $22,246,692 on Saturday Jan. 30. Of that, $17,073,244 was for 12 races at Gulfstream and $5,173,448 was for ten races at Tampa Bay, according to Equibase charts.
All-sources handle is the total of all bets on a track’s races. It includes bets made: live on-site; at other tracks and pari-mutuels; at off-track betting locations and simulcast centers; through Internet and phone advanced deposit wagering (ADW) services; and at Nevada sports books.
All-sources handle on Saturday Feb. 6 was the following at these other major tracks:
*Santa Anita -- $14,921,642 for nine races
*Aqueduct -- $8,847,420 for ten races
*Oaklawn Park -- $4,051,966
For this Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs provided this breakdown:
Attendance -- 3,200
Live handle -- $217,746
ITW handle -- $365,269
ISW handle -- $4,595,485
Total handle -- $5,178,500
ITW (Intra-Track Wagering) is the amount of bets placed on Tampa Bay races at other horse tracks and at greyhound tracks and jai-alai frontons in Florida.
ISW (Inter-State Wagering) is the amount of bets placed on Tampa Bay races by bettors outside Florida, through all of the sources listed above as part of all-sources handle.
There were 138 starters in Gulfstream’s 13 races on Saturday.
The comparable 2015 day was Saturday Feb. 7, with the same six stakes races including the Donn. On that day last year there were 13 races with 140 starters. All-sources handle was $17,205,263.
On both Saturdays, the morning and racing hours were rain free. All-sources handle was up 16 percent this year on Donn Day.
Our preliminary research indicates that Gulfstream could average around $9 million in daily average all-sources handle for its meet that ends on April 3.
That would be an annual record for its championship meet. In the last three championship meets, the average ranged between $8,3 million and $8.6 million.
Gulfstream does not routinely provide breakdowns on its sources of wagering. Admission is free at Gulfstream, where many fans wander in and out from restaurants and stores at the adjacent Village at Gulfstream Park retail center.
Gulfstream does not estimate the attendance in its racing area. We estimate that attendance yesterday was in the 7,500 range.
--Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink