Lone Star Park concluded its 20th anniversary Thoroughbred season July 30 with an 11.7% increase in live handle, the largest year-over-year increase since the track opened in 1997.
The total amount wagered on the live product, both on- and off-track, was $46.5 million versus $41.6 million last year. Daily averages were $929,835 compared to $832,433 a year ago.
“It was a terrific Thoroughbred season as is befitting our 20th anniversary,” said Scott Wells, president and general manager of Lone Star. “We were up over the last few years in nearly every category, the exception being total attendance, and that is due to the fact that we had three concerts instead of six.”
Total on-track simulcast wagering was $27.4 million compared to $25.6 million wagered in 2016, an increase of 6.9%.
An all-sources total of $73.9 million was wagered during the meet, a five-year best, compared with the all-sources total of $67.3 million wagered in 2016. The all-sources handle increased 10.5%.
Attendance during the 2017 Thoroughbred season, which was conducted over 50 dates between April 20 and July 30, totaled 337,584, a decline of 6.9% compared to 362,434 during the 50-date 2016 season. Average daily attendance was 6,752 compared to 7,249 a year ago. The 2017 Lone Star Music Series was reduced from six shows in 2016 to three this season. The three concerts drew a total of 31,517 fans for an average of 10,506 per show. The six concerts in 2016 were attended by a total of 80,806 fans for a per concert average of 13,468.
A total of 3,542 starters competed in 450 races. Average field size was 7.87, compared to the 2016 North American average (U.S. and Canada) of 7.59, according to The Jockey Club. Lone Star Park’s average daily purses were up 2.27% to $151,157 compared with $147,801 from last season.
“Racing fans saw some of the top horses, jockeys, trainers, and owners in the sport. There was the Cinderella story of Texas Chrome, who was purchased right here at Lone Star Park for only $10,000 and he became a millionaire here this summer. Several of the horses who raced here will be racing in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in November,” Wells added.
Jockey Richard Eramia won his first Lone Star riding title. He finished the meeting with a total of 68 wins from 319 starts for an earnings total of $1,023,083. Iram Vargas Diego was just three wins shy of Eramia, with a total of 65 winners from 314 starts. Diego racked up earnings totaling $949,424. Finishing third was Sasha Risenhoover with 47 victories from 237 starts and earnings of $620,424. Risenhoover set a new record for most wins by a female jockey during a single season at Lone Star. The previous record of 33 was set in 2001 by Deirdra Panas.
Already Lone Star’s all-time leading trainer, Steve Asmussen raised the bar again with a record 12th track title (1999-02, both spring and fall meets in 2004, 2005-09). Asmussen sent a total of 302 starters to post and won 79 races, for an earnings total of $1,072,886. Finishing second in the trainer standings was Karl Broberg, who has three previous top trainer titles (2014-16). Broberg’s stable entered a total of 248 starters, of which 54 were winners, and earned a total of $690,216. Two-time leading trainer, Bret Calhoun (2010-11) finished third with 42 wins.
Asmussen also earned his second owner title at the Grand Prairie racetrack, where he scored 31 wins. Keene Thoroughbreds was second with 27 wins for the season.
(from Lone Star Park news release)