||Lone Star Park On-Track Attendance, Handle
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie - home of this year's
Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships - concluded its 63-date
Spring Thoroughbred Season on Sunday (July 11) with gains in average daily
on-track attendance and on-track handle despite enduring the second-wettest
June in Dallas-Fort Worth history.
"We're extremely pleased with the results of our Spring Thoroughbred
Season," said Jeff Greco, Lone Star Park's Vice-President & General
Manager. "We were able to increase our business on-track even though
some of our biggest events were moved to the fall and we had to overcome
12 inches of rain in June. It's truly a credit to our horsemen and the
efforts of our team. The on-track increase is also a positive indicator
that horse racing continues to be a valued entertainment experience in
the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This sets us up perfectly for the Breeders'
Cup meeting this fall."
More than 548,000 customers passed through the Lone Star Park turnstiles
from April 15-July 11 for a daily average of 8,700. The figure was up
1.0% from the average of 8,600 that attended the 70-date meeting in 2003.
Spring Thoroughbred Season highlights included a strong opening weekend;
a record-setting Triple Crown; post-race concerts by Willie Nelson, The
Beach Boys and Cross Canadian Ragweed; the introduction of Dollar Days;
and post-race fireworks on July 3-4.
On-track wagering totaled $78.4 million, and the 13-week meeting saw
average daily on-track betting increase 3.9% to $1.24 million, compared
to $1.20 million in 2003.
"Our on-track business has been healthy since the start of the year,"
Greco said. "Understandably, there has been a shift of live dollars
to simulcast dollars due to increased competition in the simulcast marketplace.
But the bottom line is that we were up on-track and we're in an ideal
position for our fall Thoroughbred meeting. Our purse account is healthy
and better than our original projections, and we have local momentum heading
into an exciting summer simulcast season."
The increase in on-track dollars was largely due to record simulcast
wagering, which totaled $44.3 million at the meet. The daily average for
simulcast wagers skyrocketed 11.3% to an unprecedented $704,000 daily
versus $632,000 in 2003. And since the start of the year, in excess of
$101.6 million has been wagered at Lone Star Park on simulcasts across
North America - a 7.6% gain or $7.1 million more than last year to date.
On-track betting on live racing dipped 4.5% from an average of $566,000
to $540,000 per day, while daily average off-track betting at simulcast
outlets nationwide fell 9.7% from $1.96 million to $1.77 million.
For the first time in its eighth year of operation, Lone Star Park will
stage a second Thoroughbred meeting in 2004. A 19-date Thoroughbred season
in October (October 1-31) will replace the usual Fall Meeting of Champions
for American Quarter Horses because the North Texas racetrack is hosting
the 21st Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships - horse racing's
foremost international event - on Saturday, October 30.
As a result, a number of stakes races and major events that traditionally
appeared in the spring were moved to the fall, including three major fixtures
- the Jockey Championship (known this year as the International Jockey
Championship), the Walmac Lone Star Derby (Gr. III) and Stars of Texas
Day (a day devoted to Texas-breds). Both the International Jockey Championship
(October 28) and Walmac Lone Star Derby (October 29) will be staged during
Breeders' Cup week.
"We're really looking forward to the Breeders' Cup," Greco
said. "Because of our first fall season for Thoroughbreds, we're
keeping our stable area and main track open between the live meetings
and many of the major outfits will continue to train a total of approximately
500 horses here. And starting the first week of August, the installation
of approximately 38,000 temporary seats for the Breeders' Cup will begin.
"With Smarty Jones and a hundred other of the world's best horses
making plans to come to Lone Star Park this October, there's quite a buzz
around here and the rest of the marketplace."
FINAL 2004 LONE STAR PARK SPRING THOROUGHBRED
SEASON BUSINESS FIGURES
2004 Daily Averages (63 dates vs 70 dates in 2003)
Attendance: 8,700, +1.0% from 8,600 in 2003
On-Track, Total (Live and Simulcast): $1.24
million, +3.9% from $1.20 million in 2003
On-Track, Live Handle: $540,000, -4.5% from
$566,000 in 2003
On-Track, Simulcast Handle: $704,000, +11.3%
from $632,000 in 2003
Off-Track, Live Handle: $1.77 million, -9.7%
from $1.96 million in 2003
Live Product Handle (On- and Off-Track, Live):
$2.30 million, -8.5% from $2.52 million in 2003
Total Handle (All Sources): $3.07 million, -2.8%
from $3.15 million in 2003
No. of Races: 613
No. of Starters: 5,685
Avg. No. of Starters: 9.3
Winning Favorites: 35.2%
No. of Claims: 308 for $3,455,000
Wins, Jockey: 87, Eddie Martin Jr.
Wins, Apprentice Jockey: 27, Amanda Crandall
Earnings, Jockey: $1,684,025, Eddie Martin Jr.
Stakes Wins, Jockey: 6, Eddie Martin Jr.
Wins, Trainer: 82, Steve Asmussen
Earnings, Trainer: $1,859,727, Steve Asmussen
Stakes Wins, Trainer: 9, Steve Asmussen
Wins, Owner: 27, Kagele Brothers Inc.
Earnings, Owner: $345,840, Tom Durant
Wins, Horse: 4, Expect Will & Kristina's
Earnings, Horse: $210,250, Yessirgeneralsir.