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Hollywood Park Ends Successful Meet With Increases In Handle And Field Size

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By Author: Lee Lane-Edgar
Total Articles: 365
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Hollywood Park managed to buck the national trend as average daily live race handle was up by 9.5 percent for its just-concluded Autumn meeting. A major reason for the increase in business was an increase in average field size from 7.33 starters per race last year to 7.89.
Total handle for the 26-day meet was $151,319,791, which was a healthy jump from last year's total of $132,933,380.
“We’re very pleased that wagering on our live product was up over last year,’’ said Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau. “The larger fields definitely contributed to the increase.’’

Larger fields typically translate to more competitive racing and greater wagering opportunities. More than perhaps any other racing jurisdiction, California has struggled in recent years because of a shortage of horses.

However, steps taken recently to help increase purses in the Golden State appears to be working to some extent. Trainers based outside the state have shipped strings of horses to California to take advantage of the increased prize money and more are expected for the upcoming Santa Anita winter-spring meet ...
... that opens the day after Christmas.

The lone negative for the Hollywood Park meet was the 5.1 percent decrease in on-track attendance. Daily attendance averaged 9,187 this year compared to 9,680 last year. However, it must be noted last year's meet featured a Zenyatta appreciation day that drew 17,868 to the track.

In other news from the Hollywood meet, Oakhart Racing and Benjamin Warren had the most wins among owners with four apiece. Arnold Zetcher led in earnings with $504,480, which was largely the result of Hollywood Prevue winner So Brilliant and Horse of the Meet Liason, who won the Real Quiet Stakes and CashCall Futurity.

Joel Rosario was the leading rider at the Autumn meet for the third time in a row. Rosario piloted 37 winners to best Rafael Bejarano by four. Bejarano did top the jockeys' table in purse earnings with $1,690,868.

Mike Mitchell saddled 18 winners to win his third training title at the Autumn meet. Doug O'Neill was next with 16 followed by Bob Baffert with 15.

With the Hollywood Park meet concluded, there will be no racing in California until Santa Anita opens next Monday.

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