Pimlico records sixth-highest take for Preakness

May 26, 2010|By Baltimore Sun reporter

The Preakness Day handle, which sets the pace for how successful a year Pimlico and the Maryland Jockey Club will have, was the sixth largest overall handle in 2010 but still 8.6 percent lower this year than in 2009, the jockey club announced today.

The 2010 handle amounted to just over $79 million for the entire Preakness Day card and nearly $53 million for the 135th Preakness Stakes. Despite the lower figure, attendance for Preakness Day increased about 23 percent from 77,850 to 95,760.

The average daily handle for the spring meeting at Pimlico, which ended Saturday, was nearly 9 percent lower in 2010 compared with 2009, falling from $6.854 million in 2009 to $6.257 million this year.

Betting on last year's Preakness was spurred by the popularity of Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra, the filly ridden by Calvin Borel, who rode in this year's Preakness aboard Kentucky Derby winner, Super Saver. Super Saver finished a disappointing eighth in the Preakness this year. Lookin At Lucky beat First Dude by three-quarters of the length to win the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

The 2010 handle is up 7.9 percent from the 2008 handle, which ranks as the seventh largest handle. The top Preakness Day handle was 2005, with $91 million in wagers overall and over $63 million for the Preakness Stakes.

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