PIMLICO ANNOUNCES SPRING HANDLE FIGURES
BALTIMORE, 06-10-14—The Maryland Jockey Club concluded its spring meeting at Pimlico Race Course last weekend with the average daily handle 4.7% higher than 2013. The average daily handle increased from $4.5 million to $4.7 million with one fewer day of live racing. Easter fell during the spring stand this year.
“We had a strong finish with our numbers up 14 times during the last 16 days of the meet,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. “Despite running one fewer day, we had more total runners this year so the racing department deserves a great deal of credit.”
The 2014 meet featured 2,689 runners in 344 races (7.82 average), while last year’s spring stand included 2,683 starters in 359 races (7.47 average).
Preakness weekend was a major success as nearly 160,000 fans attended the Black-Eyed Susan (34,736) and Preakness day (123,469) cards at Old Hilltop. During the two days, there were 26 high-quality races, including the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1), and performances by eleven musical acts in the famed infield.
“We would have shattered the Black-Eyed Susan Day attendance and handle records set a year ago if not for the two inches of rain that hit Baltimore that morning which caused six races to come off the turf and discouraged attendance,” added Chuckas. “But I am still proud of what we have done to improve the Preakness weekend and will continue to find ways to sustain the momentum through the end of the meet and beyond.”