Northlands '08 Handle Up; S-Bred Live Wager Down

Published: January 7, 2009 10:56 am EST

Horse Racing Alberta has announced that Northlands Park experienced a jump of seven per cent in overall wagering in 2008 compared to the prior year

. In dollars and cents, the increase amounted to $6.8 million.

In total, $99,825,029 was wagered through the Edmonton track on live and simulcast racing combined in 2008.

The main reason for the increase was a 17 per cent rise in foreign thoroughbred simulcast wagers (total bet at $59 million). Foreign harness simulcast wagers advanced by three per cent (total bet at $22 million).

While that's the good financial news for the industry, there are some concerning figures. Wagering on the live thoroughbred meet in Alberta's capital dropped six per cent in 2008. The summer campaign garnered $9,177,524 in betting. On the live harness meets combined, $7.2 million was pushed through the windows. That's a drop of 19% from 2007.

Another interesting figure is the 14% drop in wagering by Edmonton handicappers on the Calgary thoroughbred meet last year.




These numbers are very deceiving. Maybe if the standardbreds got the prime summer race dates an "A" track instead of just the winter months the betting numbers would be a little different. Thoroughbred simulcasts out number standardbred simulcasts about 5 to 1.