Opening-Weekend Handle Increases Significantly at Albuquerque Downs

The track records a 37-percent increase over 2017.

Press release

Albuquerque Downs recorded substantial increases in handle during its opening weekend. PHOTO: Albuquerque Downs

Albuquerque Downs opened its 55-date racing season last weekend and recorded a 37-percent increase in wagering handle over the first three days of 2017.

A total of $857,874 was wagered on Albuquerque’s live races from Friday, June 29-Sunday, July 1, compared to $625,429 during the first three days of the track’s 2017 season. Off-track wagering on Albuquerque’s live races reached $526,288, up 44 percent from $408,090 last year, while $271,586 was wagered on track, an increase of 25 percent over the $217,339 wagered on track during the first three days of last year’s meet.

A total of 29 races were run at Albuquerque Downs during the first three days of both the 2018 and ’17 meet. Friday’s opening-night card featured the 5 1/2-furlong, $50,000 Duke City Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds, as well as the return to the races of Samuel F. “Sonny” Henderson’s Suddenbreakingnews, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding who ran second in the 2016 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park and fifth in that season’s Kentucky Derby (G1).

Saturday’s program featured the 7-furlong, $70,000 O.D. McDonald Handicap (R) for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds, and Sunday’s card was topped by the 350-yard, $96,590 Four Corners Futurity for 2-year-old Quarter Horses.

“We drew large crowds all three days, Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and our on-track crowd really responded to our large fields and competitive racing,” said Downs president of racing Don Cook. “It was also gratifying to see racing fans from out of state respond so favorably to our opening-weekend racing.”

Albuquerque Downs’ 15 opening-weekend Thoroughbred races averaged 8.9 horses per race after late scratches. The track’s 14 Quarter Horse races averaged 9.3 horses per race after late scratches.

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