Monday, March 30, 2020
For some reason, Equibase is no longer closing out Gulfstream's charts with the handle statistics of the day. In these harrowing times, those numbers are important - they reveal how the country is responding, via the various wagering accounts, to the main track still in operation.
Based on a quick evaluation of Saturday's 14-race card at Gulfstream, the racing community is self-quarantining itself in front of their computers, or on the couch with their phones of all kinds.
I didn't have the patience to add up the individual handles of each of Gulfstream's 14 races, but I did a few to try to get some idea of how the track is being supported. Here's what I found:
Race No. 1 - This one went off at 11:36 so it's fair to assume the West and Mid-West hadn't gotten involved yet. Total handle for all pools: $1,017,296.
Race No. 2 - More people getting involved - Total handle - $1,412,895.
Skip races 3 through 12 and go to No. 13, the Appleton - Total handle - $3,427,974.
Then the piece de resistance: The Florida Derby - Total handle - $9,896,403.
That adds up to $15,754,568 for just four races. If we estimate that the other 10 races averaged $2 million each, the total for the day would be about $35 million. (However, after a quick check of the other races, it appears that I underestimated the other 10 - several appear to have handled more than $3 million and the day's total could be $40 million or more).
Of course, Gulfstream receives a much larger percentage of the pools from on-track wagering than from the betting accounts, but at least Florida racing isn't going completely in the tank during this horrendous time for other businesses.
On Saturday, Tampa's ITW handle was $6,555, and the ISW handle $4,888,525. Oaklawn Park's number was $5,122,231.
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