Oregon horse racing track Grants Pass Downs announced major revenue boost from its recently concluded second trade meeting earlier this month. The Summer Meetings carded 78 races over nine dates and managed a total of $2,235,303, nearly quadrupling the total amount from the non-commercial summer meeting last year.
The event also saw a huge rise in online and off-track betting, with almost 94 percent of the meeting’s handle powered by off-site betting – marking an impressive 859 percent increase from last summer ‘s meeting.
At an average of $68,835 per race day and $7,942 per race the horsemen and horsewomen earned $619,511 in purse money on the season. The average race day bags saw an rise of $38,863 compared to the summer of 2019 – up 130 percent. In turn, the field size of the track increased to an average of 7.94 horses per race over the 5.34 horses per race from last summer.
Grants Pass Downs president Randy Evers welcomed the uplift saying: “This record-breaking meet shows that racing is alive and well in spite of COVID-19, and our success is a testament to the hard work put in by track staff, operations and facilities teams and the wonderful community of horsemen and women whose efforts made the meet possible.
“We are proud to be one of the few live sporting events on television while supporting the local Grants Pass economy.”
Given small crowd sizes, record handles were achieved for the conference. In reaction to the pandemic, Grants Pass Downs adhered to the Governor’s order to restrict the number of non-essential people on site during the summer meeting to 250 on racing days.
This has made major organisational improvements to comply with recommendations from public health authorities from the CDC and Oregon to ensure the safety of workers, horsemen, athletes and others involved. Dates will be released early for the upcoming Fall race meeting.