Total handle on Remington Park racing was $76,885,108, up 7.1 percent compared to the total for the 2018 Thoroughbred season of $71,798,190. This is the third consecutive Thoroughbred season for total handle on Remington Park racing to be up over the prior year.
The third consecutive increase was driven by a third-straight season with export handle going up over the previous year. There was $73,472,573 wagered from other jurisdictions in 2019, an 8 percent jump over the $68,021,279 bet from export sources in 2018.
The lone Remington Park off-track location, Thunder Roadhouse in Oklahoma City, was up this season on live racing as handle reached $195,661. That is an increase of 21.4 percent over the same statistic in 2018 of $161,132.
The Remington Park season was highlighted by its programs featuring multiple stakes events, including: Oklahoma Derby Day (Sept. 29, 8 stakes races); Oklahoma Classics Night (Oct. 18, 8 stakes races) and Springboard Mile Day (Dec. 15, 6 stakes races).
The Oklahoma Derby Day card set a new all-time handle record on Remington Park racing of $3,086,572. The record lasted until topped on the Springboard Mile Day program with $3,365,368 played. Both record dates this season featured 13-race programs.
“Horseplayers everywhere continue to recognize the value of the Remington Park Thoroughbred racing product and have helped us maintain our upward trajectory,” said Scott Wells, Remington Park president and general manager. “We are extremely appreciative of our horsemen and our racing department for their collaboration in making this one of our most successful seasons ever, capping it off with an all-time record day.”
Owendale (Grade 3, Oklahoma Derby), Lady Apple (Grade 3, Remington Park Oaks) and Shoplifted (Springboard Mile) won the top races of the season. Shoplifted gained 10 valuable qualifying points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby with his Springboard triumph. Remington Park's top 2-year-old stakes race, the Springboard has produced Kentucky Derby starters from three of its last four editions.
Remington Park's daily average handle was $1,147,539, up from the 2018 daily average of $1,071,615.
“Remington Park continues to feature top competition throughout the season, especially in our premiere graded stakes races and the Springboard Mile,” noted Matt Vance, Remington Park vice-president of racing operations. “Once again, local Oklahoma-bred heroes Welder and Shotgun Kowboy thrilled our fans with great performances.”
Welder made a strong bid for his second consecutive Horse of the Meeting title by winning four straight races, including a track record-setting romp in the $150,000 David Vance Sprint, versus open-company opponents. Shotgun Kowboy won his fourth career $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, becoming the first horse to win the top race for Oklahoma-breds that many times.
There were 604 races conducted in 2019, compared to the 609 contested in 2018. The average field size for 2019 moved 3.3 percent lower to 8.71 per race with 5,259 total starters. The 2018 average field size was 9.01 per race from 5,490 total starters.
“Although we faced a few challenges that affected field size, we still held strong with very positive results from our simulcast players across the country,” Vance said.
Total horsemen's purses continue to grow for the Remington Park Thoroughbred Season with $16,971,799 paid in 2019. The daily average was $253,310, up 2.2 percent compared to the average per day from the 2018 season of the same length, $247,791, from an overall total last year of $16,602,025.
After enjoying an increase last year, on-track live handle slid in 2019 with $3,216,874 wagered, down 11 percent from the total of $3,615,779 in 2018.
Remington Park racing is now on hiatus until the beginning of the 2020 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season that starts on March 6.