Betting at Emerald Downs in Auburn jumped 4% in 2022 from 2021 with a total season handle of $67.7 million.
Purse money paid out also increased as Emerald Downs wrapped up its 27th season of live racing Sunday, Sept. 18.
The average daily handle of $1.3 million was down 2% from the previous year but still up some 15% from pre-COVID in 2019, according to Emerald Downs reports.
On-track wagering showed a major boost in 2022—a whopping 32% increase—as Emerald Downs returned to its traditional racing schedule of Friday evenings and Saturday-Sunday afternoons.
Purses increased substantially in 2022 with $7.1 million paid to owners—up a robust 26.5% over 2021, according to Emerald Downs. Additionally, out of state claiming horses received bonuses for racing at the track.
Average field size was 6.41 horses with 2,726 starter in 425 races, down slightly from a 6.48 average in 2021.
On the track, jockey Alex Cruz captured his record-tying third straight title with 90 wins while trainer Jorge Rosales won his first Emerald Downs’ title with 36 wins. Longacres Mile champion Slew’s Tiz Whiz was voted Horse of the Meeting.