Remington Park concluded the 2016 Thoroughbred Season on Dec. 11 with Cool Arrow winning the $300,000 Springboard Mile emphatically by 3-1/2 lengths, leading throughout. The top 2-year-old stakes race of the season helped close another stakes-dominated program, the likes of which became a focal point this year.
Despite the successes of the Springboard Mile Day, Oklahoma Derby Day and the Oklahoma Classics Night, Remington Park pari-mutuel handle dropped for the first time since 2012. The total handle on Remington Park racing was $57,332,509, a decrease of 8.2% from the 2015 season when handle was $62,475,502.
“While not pleased with the overall handle results for the season, Remington Park did achieve positive gains with our large programs of stakes racing,” said Matt Vance, Remington Park vice president of operations. “Oklahoma Derby Day was our biggest handle day since 1999 with over $2.3 million wagered on our races. The Springboard Mile card and the Oklahoma Classics Night both continue to be popular on-track and across North America.”
Oklahoma Derby Day on Sept. 25 consisted of 10 stakes races while the Oklahoma Classics Night of state-bred divisional races on Oct. 21 had eight stakes events. The Springboard Mile card on Dec. 11 had five stakes races as part of the 12-race program.
Remington Park on-track handle decreased to $3,613,712, down 13.7% from 2015 when the figure was $4,185,321. The Remington Park export handle to other jurisdictions was $53,466,844, down 7.8% from the $57,966,038 a year ago.
Remington Park’s three off-track sites around Oklahoma City wagered $251,953, down 22.3% from the $324,143 in 2015.
After a record-breaking season for purses distributed in 2015, Remington Park horsemen won $15,855,080 this season for an average of $236,643 per day. The total was 6.2% less than the all-time high mark of $16,896,014 last year.
Years of a national diminishing foal crop may have finally caught up to Remington Park as average field size dipped below nine per race for the first time since 2005. There were 5,167 horses competing over the 605 races conducted in 2016 for an average field size of 8.4. That is the lowest average field size since the 2005 number of 8.9 and the first time below nine per race since the same year.
The average field size per race in 2015 was 9.0.
Remington Park conducted two fewer races (605) compared to the 2015 season (607). Both seasons had 67 race dates.
Remington Park racing will begin again in 2017 with the start of the American Quarter Horse Season on Friday, March 10 with a 50-date season that concludes on June 3. The 2017 Thoroughbred Season will begin on Friday, Aug. 25 with the 67-date season finishing on Sunday, Dec. 17.