REMINGTON PARK EXPERIENCES RECORD HANDLE IN SPRING SEASON THAT ENDURED PANDEMIC SHUTDOWN
The 2020 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season at Remington Park was one that will long be remembered. Contesting the bulk of the 50-dates without public spectators because of Covid-19 pandemic safety protocols, the season ran its scheduled race days while experiencing record wagering handle.
When Remington Park closed to the public for racing on March 19, only the necessary horsemen and staff needed to facilitate the races were allowed on property, with health and safety protocols instituted. Despite new challenges, racing continued without issue, and the Remington Park product was discovered by new horseplayers, from around the globe.
“Remington Park, alongside the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, worked tirelessly this year,” said Matt Vance, Remington Park vice-president of racing operations. “Through the strength of our nearly 32-year relationship with horsemen across Oklahoma, we were able to accomplish great success considering the obstacles before us throughout the season.”
As one of just a few racetracks in the world still operating, total pari-mutuel handle on Remington Park racing for the season reached an all-time record $98,389,667, an increase of $71,923,174 over the 2019 season, up 271.8%.
The extreme bulk of the handle was generated from export sources, most of that from individual advance deposit wagering accounts as nearly all horseplayers remained home, playing Remington Park racing online. Total export handle for the season was $97,554,383, up $74,556,861 over 2019 for an increase of 324.2%.
By mid-May, more racetracks began to reopen across North America. Despite the extra competition for the wagering dollar, racing handle remained strong as many of the new horseplayers stayed with the Remington Park action through the end of the season.
“We persevered together with the good people of the OQHRA and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, and adopted protocol that enabled us to keep a vital portion of the agricultural industry in Oklahoma going through it all,” Vance noted. “There are too many names to name, but they know who they are, we couldn’t have made it without them. We also thank the army of ‘essential’ Remington Park staff that came to work, night in and night out, during the pandemic. They all worked tirelessly, allowing our high definition signal to go out around the globe, while breaking a record or two along the way.”
Remington Park offered 37 fewer races over the 50 dates this season with 520 events contested. The average wagering per race was $189,211, up by $141,695 over 2019 for an increase of 298.2%.
Horsemen continued their great support for Remington Park racing, entering 4,770 horses for an average per race field size of 9.17, continuing the above nine per race average achieved for more than a decade. However, that number was down slightly from the average field size of 9.38 in 2019 when 5,233 starters competed.
Remington Park purse levels decreased when the season moved into the non-public phase. A total of $12,718,811 was distributed, down 19.7%, $3,127,038 lower than a year ago. The average daily purses for 2020 were $254,376, while the 2019 daily average for purses was $310,703.
Remington Park did reopen to racing spectators in late May, with capacity limitations and health protocols greeting attendees. There were only 15 total race dates, seven at the beginning of the season and eight at the end, when the public could attend the racing action in Oklahoma City. The on-track live wagering on Remington Park was only $749,645. That stat was down $2,618,603, or 77.7%, when compared to 2019 when the public could attend the entire season of 51 race dates.
Thunder Roadhouse, Remington Park’s off-track wagering partner in Oklahoma City, handled $85,639 on the live racing, down $15,084 or 15% to 2019. Thunder Roadhouse was closed for wagering most of the first half of the season, reopening in May.
Remington Park racing is now on hiatus until August 21 when the Thoroughbred Season is scheduled to begin. Casino gaming and simulcast race wagering is available daily.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $243 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, Remington Park is in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District.