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Santa Anita Meet Ends on an Upbeat Note

On the wings of a sensational two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday, Santa Anita’s 24-day Autumn Meet ended on an upbeat note Sunday as overall handle on Santa Anita races was up two percent compared to last year and on-track attendance (excluding Nov. 2 & 3), was up one percent.

With 34,619 attending on Friday and 55,123 on Saturday, The Great Race Place once again served as racing’s ultimate showcase, highlighted by the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday. A total of $147,871,672 was wagered over the two days: $49,089,432 on Friday and $98,782,239 on Saturday.

“The 2012 Breeders’ Cup was a tremendous success every way you looked at it,” said Santa Anita CEO Mark Verge. “We had great racing, great weather and we exposed thousands of new people to Santa Anita and to the beauty and excitement of horse racing. Most importantly, we had two days of injury-free competition, which is always our top priority.”

Beginning with the opening day Eddie D Stakes, the Autumn Meet was marked by a number of news names for stakes and by many new and innovative promotions.

Santa Anita’s first-ever 626 Night Market, staged in the track’s Infield area on Oct. 20 and 21, attracted more 40,000 people, primarily Asian-American families, and was a rousing success as it underscored Santa Anita’s intensified efforts to expand its customer base in the local community.

The 626 Night Market served as platform for a wide array of Asian businesses and young entrepreneurs who were there to promote their businesses, products and services. Live DJs, performance artists, new cars and family-themed games were all on display over the two days.

“The response on both days was overwhelming,” said Verge. “This was our first time ever hosting the 626 Night Market and while our expectations were high, we were blown away by the response. Moving forward, we think this is a great fit for all of us and it provides us with a mechanism to connect with our neighbors and to expose them to our facility and to our great sport.”

The Autumn Meet also introduced myriad initiatives to better assist the guest’s experience. “I’ve never seen a family of employees that are so passionate about what they do,” said Jimmy Dunne, Santa Anita Chief Creative Officer. “We know our guests have many choices out there, and we’ve been thrilled to see how many people have discovered this extraordinary home to racing.”

“Santa Anita is poised to lead our industry into the future and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” said Verge. “We’d like to sincerely thank our fans and horseman for all of their support throughout the meet and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back the day after Christmas.”

 

 

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