Photo: Hollywood Park
With seven days of simulcasts still to come, Betfair
Hollywood Park has thus far shown a sizable increase in all sources handle for
the 2012 Autumn meet. The live portion of the 24-day season concluded Sunday.
Complete handle and Southern California attendance figures
will be available later this month.
Betfair Hollywood Park will continue to offer simulcast
wagering this week from various tracks, including Fair Grounds, Gulfstream
Park, Hawthorne, Tampa Bay Downs, Turf Paradise and Turfway Park.
The Hollywood Park Casino – where admission is free – will
be open for simulcasts Dec. 17-20.
With Los Alamitos and Cal Expo offering daytime programs
Dec. 21-23, Betfair
Players Club will be open for those races and other simulcasts. General
admission will be $5. Track gates will open at 9:45 a.m. Post time at Los
Alamitos will be 2 p.m. while post time at Cal Expo is 2:35 p.m.
“Preliminarily, we are up between 7-8 per cent through a
comparable number of days (the 2011 Autumn meet was 26 days),’’ said Betfair
Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau. “We’re most pleased by the fact that a substantial
portion of the increase was attributable to ADW (advance deposit wagering)
handle, which was up over 30 per cent and over 50 per cent of our ADW handle is
through TVG (Television Games Network).
“We’re also pleased that wagering in Southern California was
up 3-4 percent over last year and we believe that was due to our joint
marketing program with TVG and our races being televised on TVG and Fox
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) featured the second largest total
Pick Six pool in Autumn meet history. Chasing a three-day carryover of $560,134,
players wagered an additional $2,651,873 on the holiday sequence. The total
pool of $3,212,007 trails only the $3,379,014 bet when Hollywood Park played
host to the Breeders’ Cup for a third time Nov. 8, 1997.
Additionally, average field size increased for a third
consecutive year, rising from 7.33 starters per race in 2010 to 7.89 last year
and 8.16 in 2012. The season certainly finished with a flourish as 228 horses
were entered in 21 races the final two days of the meet.
Another success was a renewed interest in Saturday’s Pick
Six, spurred by a $150,000 guaranteed pool and the lure of a 2013 Toyota Prius
– courtesy of TVG and Toyota of Orange - being awarded to a single ticket
holder – provided the ticket was purchased at Betfair Hollywood Park or through
TVG. The average Pick Six pool for the half-dozen
Saturdays during the meet was $243,754.
Shippers certainly had a memorable season as thoroughbreds from
other parts of the country won all four of the Grade I races offered.
A New York bred making his first start away from home, Unbridled
Command won the Hollywood Derby Nov. 25, hours after Better Lucky, who had made
her previous start in Kentucky, scored the biggest upset in Matriarch history,
returning $72.20 after a one length victory under jockey Eddie Castro.
Supplemented by trainer Ken McPeek for his family’s
Magdalena Racing, Pure Fun rallied from last to win the $500,000-guaranteed
Hollywood Starlet Dec. 8. The victory came on the heels of an authoritative win
at Churchill Downs for the 2-year-old daughter of Pure Prize.
In the richest race of the meet, Violence remained
undefeated in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity, defeating a stubborn Fury Kapcori
and nine other 2-year-olds Dec. 15. Trained by Todd Pletcher for Steve
Marshall’s Black Rock Thoroughbreds LLLP, the son of Medaglia d’Oro is 3-for-3
and has to be considered at this stage one of the prime contenders for the 2013
The Hollywood Derby was the fifth and final race of the
three-day Turf Festival. Unbridled Command and Better Lucky weren’t the only
winners from out of town. Data Link, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey,
won the Grade II Citation Handicap Nov. 23.
Locals won the Festival races for 2-year-olds Nov. 24 with Travesura,
an 11-1 shot, winning the Miesque for fillies while favored Den’s Legacy captured
the Generous. Both are Grade III events.
Tom and Debi Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC, Glen Hill
Farm and the partnership of BG Stable and trainer Hector Palma tied for the top
spot in the owners’ standings with four wins. In terms of earnings, Black Rock
Thoroughbreds LLLP led with $388,200.
Jockey Edwin Maldonado won his first major riding title in
Southern California, finishing with 25 wins, one more than Rafael Bejarano.
Martin Garcia was third with 22 victories.
Garrett Gomez was the leader among jockeys in stakes wins (five)
and earnings ($1,075,460).
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert won his third Autumn training
title – and fifth overall, including the 2010 Oak Tree meet - at Betfair Hollywood
Park. Baffert wound up with 17 wins, leaving him three clear of John Sadler and
four in front of Doug O’Neill.
Baffert was also the leader in stakes victories (four) and
earnings ($1,169,340). Game On Dude, the 2012 Hollywood Gold Cup winner,
provided Baffert with one of the stakes wins, rebounding from a subpar
performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to take the Grade III, $242,500 Native
Diver Stakes – Presented by the Oak Tree Racing Association – Dec. 1. The win
earned the 5-year-old son of Awesome Again Horse of the Meet honors in the annual
Another Hall of Fame trainer – Jerry Hollendorfer – was
second in both categories, finishing with three stakes wins and $835,996 in