Md. horse wagering rose 7.5 percent in 2012
The Maryland Jockey Club ended its 2012 racing season last week, posting average wagering figures that were 7.5 percent higher than in 2011. The average daily handle went from $2.27 million to $2.44million. The year had 145 live racing dates and 206 simulcast days. Live handle figures increased nearly 6 percent from $176,300 to $186,700, while the export numbers grew almost 17 percent from $1.7 million to $1.975 million per day. "It is significant news that the live and export numbers increased from a year ago. We finished strong at Pimlico in the spring and kept the momentum going during the Laurel Park fall meeting," Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. "I attribute the boost to increased purses, as we are running for $250,000 per day, which is up $90,000, improved field sizes and more aggressive marketing." Total attendance was up at Pimlico Race Course as the Preakness Day crowd improved from 107,398 to a record 121,309.