TOTAL WAGERING ON REMINGTON PARK SEASON CONTINUES INCREASING TREND, RECORD HORSEMEN’S PURSES DISTRIBUTED
Established veterans and budding stars excelled in Remington Park’s biggest races in the recently completed 2019 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season, resulting in increased pari-mutuel handle for a third straight season. A new record for purse distribution was also established resulting in tremendous participation by competing owners and trainers.
Political Attraction and Uptowne Babe are two of the top runners this season, winning Grade 1 stakes races on the final evening, “Champions Night.” Political Attraction won three consecutive stakes races including the marquee race for older horses, the Remington Park Championship, on his way to Horse of the Meeting honors. Uptowne Babe was consistent throughout the spring and triumphed in Oklahoma’s richest race, the million-dollar Heritage Place Futurity.
Remington Park also boasted its richest sprint season ever with total horsemen’s purses reaching $15,845,849 for an average daily distribution of $310,703. Both figures are new records for the Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season and mark increases of 9.7% over the total from last year while the average per day is 7.5% higher than a year ago. Total purses in 2018 reached $14,447,830 for a daily average of $288,959.
The average field size reached 9.39 per race with 5,233 starters over 557 races. The average in 2018 was 9.18. Despite fewer races this year, Remington Park allowed 12-horse fields for many racing conditions, offering horsemen more opportunities to get their horses involved in the lucrative season.
Top horses, quality stakes competition and full fields that meant more value to horseplayers, all contributed to an increase in total wagering on Remington Park’s races with $26,466,493 played over the 51 dates. That figure was $1,882,258 more than the same statistic in 2018, a 7.7% increase. The average wagering for each race date was $529,330, up 9.8% over last year’s per day average. This is the third consecutive Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season that Remington Park has marked an increase in total wagering on its races.
Export wagering, betting taking place away from Remington Park controlled venues, reached $22,997,522, a 10.6% increase, $2,199,848 over the 2018 export total. The average daily export was $450,932, up 8.4% over last year’s daily export average. Like total wagering, the export betting has also been up for three consecutive sprint seasons.
“The continued growth of our quarter horse program in such key areas as total handle and field size contributed to another successful season in 2019,” said Matt Vance, Remington Park vice president of racing operations. “Thank you to our entire racing team at Remington as well as the fantastic owners and trainers who participated with the finest equine athletes in the industry. I would also like to give praise to Debbie Schauf and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association board who partnered with us in aggressive pre-race hair testing for ALL horses participating at Remington Park this season. Remington park is dedicated, along with the OQHRA and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, in doing our very best to ensure a level playing field for all.”
The rise in overall handle is significant considering Remington Park conducted 14 fewer races in 2019 compared to a year ago, due to weather related events on three nights during the season. Only one race was conducted on Saturday, April 13 when sub-freezing wind chills, along with a super-soaked track, proved too much to continue the card. The final three races on Friday, May 24 were called when heavy thunderstorms swept over Remington Park. The following night, Saturday, May 25, the last race of the evening was canceled when a lightning strike knocked out the track’s lighting system, leaving the racing surface in the dark. The final race count for the 2019 season was 557, while 571 races were conducted a year ago.
The average wagering per race for the season was $47,516, an increase of 10.4% over the per race average of $43,055 in 2018.
Remington Park’s on-track live wagering was $3,368,248, a decrease of $291,522 from 2018, down 8%, due in large part to the cancellations. Wagering at Remington Park’s one off-track betting site in Oklahoma City was $100,723 which was lower by $20,068 from the similar stat in 2018, down 20.6%.
Attendance during this season was 441,281, down 30,865 or 6.5% from last year. Top dates included Saturday, May 4 when 21,795 came to Remington Park for live racing and Kentucky Derby Day simulcast activities. A weekend earlier on Sunday, April 28, 21,689 came out for the annual Extreme Racing Day, featuring camel, ostrich and zebra races in between the regular horse races.
Live racing returns to Remington Park when the 2019 Thoroughbred Season begins on Friday, Aug. 23.
Remington Park is always open for casino gaming. Simulcast horse racing is offered daily. Admission, parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park. Guests must be 18 or older in order to wager on horse racing or to enter the casino.
Tracked by more than 155,000 fans on Facebook and more than 9,900 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $220Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park resumes live racing with the start of the 2019 Thoroughbred Season on August 23. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.