INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 20, 2011)-Although Hollywood Park finished its 54-day Spring/Summer meet July 17 with slight drops in attendance and handle, track president Jack Liebau was generally heartened with the results, given the problems facing the industry and the high rate of unemployment in California.
Southern California attendance averaged 12,559, down 9/10ths of a percent from the average of 12,676 during a 57-day meet in 2010.
The average Southern California handle of $4,763,002 was off 7/10th of a percent from the average of $4,795,559 from the corresponding meet a year ago.
The all sources average handle declined 2.4% from $9,475,894 in 2010 to $9,251,001 in 2011.
Field size remained unchanged. The average field size was 7.68 horses per race, the same as the 2010 Spring/Summer meet.
“Considering our expectations going into the meet, I thought, relatively speaking, we did very well,’’ said Liebau. “We began after Santa Anita had a disappointing meet, with a horse shortage and 12.8% unemployment in the state, so given all of those factors, I thought we held our own. ’’
One of the highlights of the meet was the creation of the Player’s Pick 5, a 50 cent minimum wager with a California low takeout rate of 14%. The Pick 5, which was available on the first five races daily, handled an average of more than $200,000. A $70 investment for one player led to a record payout of $157,395 July 9.
“The wagering public responded well to the lower takeout of the Player’s Pick 5,’’ said Liebau.
Hollywood Park will open its 2011 Autumn meet Thursday, November 10. The season will continue through Sunday, December 18.
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