CHALLENGING LONE STAR PARK SEASON CONCLUDES
16th Spring Thoroughbred Season Impacted By Short Fields and Weather On Big Event Days
Despite facing short fields, running less races and dodging the unpredictable Texas weather, Lone Star Park rode a slight increase in simulcast-in wagering handle to maintain on-track wagering levels while average daily live handle declined 7% and average daily attendance dipped slightly to 4% for its 53-day 16th Spring Thoroughbred season which ended yesterday.
“We are disappointed with the results. However, we are encouraged by our simulcast-in wagering numbers which increased over 2011 levels making our on-track total virtually even with last years numbers. We also are very optimistic about our upcoming off-season simulcasting in our Bar & Book with popular signals Del Mar and Saratoga starting in a few days,” said Drew Shubeck, President & General Manager.
Average daily live handle declined 7% on Lone Star Park races. Overall, $14.9 million was wagered during the 53-day meet. The 2011 season ran 52-days and totaled $15.7 million in wagering handle. Average daily simulcast-out handle took the steepest dip declining from $763,461 in 2011 to $669,811 in 2012, a 12% decline. The total live product average declined 11% from 2011.
Off the track, the bright spot of the season was the popular Lone Star Music Series which saw a 19% increase from 2011 totals. The 127,994 fans that attended the 9-date concert series represented 33% of Lone Star Park’s total attendance for the meet. A total of 388,248 customers attended the 53-day season for a daily average of 7,325, a 4% decline from the 2011 average of 7,620.
“We are very pleased with our Lone Star Music Series and look forward to continuing this popular entertainment offering next year,” said Shubeck. “Our total attendance was impacted by inclement weather on several Big Event Days which hurt our numbers. However, we closed very strong with three concerts and our popular fireworks show which attracted over 66,000 people closing week.”
On the track, a total of 4,086 starters in 488 races compared to 4,243 runners in 564 races during the 52-day meet in 2011. Average field size was 8.4 compared to 8.9 from last year, a decrease of .5%. Average daily purses were $140,642 compared to $161,719, a 13% decrease.
Jockey Cliff Berry won 62 races to clinch his 5th riding title and second in a row at Lone Star Park.
Newcomers take over the trainer and owner categories as Danny Pish won his first Lone Star Park training title capturing 42 wins and End Zone Athletics, Inc. won its first owners title by capturing 17 wins from 60 starters.
Nate’s Mineshaft won Horse of the Year honors by capturing the Grade III $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on Memorial Day.
Lone Star Park’s 26-day Fall Meeting of Champions for American Quarter Horses begins on September 14.
Here is a complete list of end of meet award recipients as well as total business levels for the 53-day season:
Horse of the Meeting – Nate’s Mineshaft (1-1-0-0—$174,000), won Lone Star Park Handicap, Grade III
Champion Claiming Horse – Youcannotbeserious (7-4-1-1—$45,680)
Champion Jockey – Cliff Berry (182-62-29-25—$832,627), 5th Lone Star Park riding title (3rd career)
Champion Apprentice Jockey – Gerardo Mora (263-23-44-36—$212,385) 1st career title
Champion Trainer – Danny Pish (195-42-34-32—$525,190), 1st Lone Star Park training title
Champion Owners – End Zone Athletics, Inc. (60-17-9-3—$139,164), 1st Lone Star Park owners title
Total Attendance & Handle 2012 (53 dates) 2011 (52 dates) +/-
Attendance: 388,248 396,281 -2%
On-Track, Live Handle: $14.9 million $15.7 million -5%
Simulcast-In Handle $23.7 million $23.2 million +2.2%
Off-Track, Export Handle: $35.5 million $39.7 million -11%
Live Product/Merge Handle (On-Track, Live & Off-Track): $50.4 million $55.4 million -9%
On-Track Total (Live Handle, Simulcast-In) $38.6 million $38.9 million -.001%
All-Sources Handle (On-Track, Live & Off-Track, Simulcast-In): $74.1 million $78.7 million -5.8%
Daily Attendance & Handle Averages 2012 (53 dates) 2011 (52 dates) +/-
Attendance: 7,325 7,620 -4%
On-Track, Live Handle: $281,132 $301,923 -7%
Simulcast-In Handle $447,169 $446,153 +2.2%
Off-Track, Export Handle: $669,811 $763,461 -12%
Live Product/Merge Handle (On-Track, Live & Off-Track): $950,943 $1,065,384 -11%
On-Track Total (Live Handle, Simulcast-In) $728,301 $748,076 -2.6%
All-Sources Handle (On-Track, Live & Off-Track, Simulcast-In): $1,398,113 $1,513,461 -7.6%