Handle Up at Bing Crosby Meet and Breeders’ Cup Highlights Best Fall Season at Del Mar
The Breeders’ Cup was the highlight of the fourth fall Bing Crosby Season, and Del Mar CEO and President Joe Harper says the month of racing was the best ever at the seaside oval.
“Profit-wise, handle-wise, safety-wise, this certainly is the best fall meet we’ve had,” Harper said.
As the numbers came in following Sunday’s closing day at Del Mar, officials said wagering from all sources — not including Breeders’ Cup races and its record handle — was up 7.5 percent, compared to 2016. Out-of-state handle increased 10.3 percent and on-track betting rose by 4 percent.
There were 14 racing days, one fewer than last year, and this year’s total wagering figure was $153.1 million – just exceeding last year’s $152.5 million.
Del Mar’s on-track attendance was down by 5.3 percent to 77,218, with a daily average of 5,516.
The track’s field size for the 14 days was 8.5 runners per race, which equaled last fall’s average
“We are, of course, very pleased with the results from our fall season,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president and general manager Joe Harper. “The Breeders’ Cup got us off to a good beginning, but our fall meet has grown into a winner all its own and now has become a staple in California. With the support of our horsemen and our bettors, Del Mar’s fall run has become the most prosperous November meet in the country.”
Heading into the final weekend of the fall meet, trainer Richard Mandella also reflected on the Del Mar Big Crosby meet and his comments are likely shared by many horsemen.
“I hate to see this ending, I love it down here this time of year,” Mandella said. “I love it period, but this time of year it’s about as close to perfect for racing as it can be. The weather’s so good, the town’s kind of quiet and easy to get around. I can’t say enough about it.”