Remington Attendance Up

Remington closes season with increased attendance.

June 1, 2012

Remington Park

The 2012 American Quarter Horse & Mixed-breed Season at Remington Park was completed on Memorial Day, May 28, and enjoyed by more guests over the 50-dates compared to the prior year. The season regularly featured the sport’s top horses with the likes of world champion Cold Cash 123 and many others emerging triumphant.

Cold Cash 123 was undefeated in a pair of Grade 1 starts this season, winning the $100,000 Leo Stakes in March and then the $250,000 Remington Park Championship on the final weekend. His Championship effort was an amazing come-from-behind performance after a rough start left him nowhere close to the lead.

A total of 470,125 visited Remington Park on the live race dates, an increase of 15.4 percent over the 2011 total. The daily average attendance was 9,403 over the 50 race dates. The increase is attributed to the higher-level of racing competition as well as a consistent series of promotional events throughout the season.

“I’ve seen a lot of world championship performances in my lifetime at the racetrack, but the one by Cold Cash 123 in the Remington Park Invitational Championship was about as impressive as it gets,” marveled Remington Park president and general manager Scott Wells, a lifelong racing aficionado. “He beat a great field of horses by a length of daylight. I don’t think there’s a faster horse on the planet, and I’m glad our fans got to see him.”

In addition to Cold Cash 123, fans watched two-time defending distance champion De Passem Okey win all four of his 870-yard races to stamp himself the favorite for the honor again this year. BP Cartels Alibi, currently the top-ranked 2-year-old in racing, rallied for victory in the richest race of the season, the $1,048,560 Heritage Place Futurity (G1). Undefeated Lota PYC, the nation’s No. 2-ranked 2-year-old and winner of the $720,000 Remington Park Futurity (R), was perfect in his three starts here.

Remington Park initiated several cash giveaways, free-play incentives and quality entertainment in addition to the growing big-event dates the market has come to expect. All of these marketing incentives worked in pulling in more fans, many of them younger and new to horse racing.

-    Big-money cash drawings on Opening Night in March experienced a crowd of 14,479, nearly 5,000 more than the opening night in 2011.
-    An audience of 19,671 crowded the facility for Extreme Racing Day in April as the camels and ostriches competed in between horse races, an increase of more than 4,000 compared to 2011.
-    The Kentucky Derby simulcast of I’ll Have Another’s win, combined with a solid card of trials for the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity on May 5, brought 20,564 out. The total was up more than 5,000 compared to the first Saturday in May 2011.

“It’s been a great racing season and we were successful in bringing out thousands of new people.” Wells remarked. “New fans need to learn to play the game and we work hard on educating them. We know from their feedback that they’re getting more comfortable playing.”

Despite the larger audiences, Remington Park on-track pari-mutuel handle on its races slid by 2 percent compared to 2011.

“The fact that we were up in attendance by more than 15 percent and down 2 percent in on-track handle is a tradeoff we’ll gladly take over the long haul,” Wells said. “Those newcomers are an important part of our future fan base.”

The Remington Park on-track handle was $4,159,091, less $85,991 compared to 2011. Remington Park conducted a total of 563 races this year, seven fewer than the 570 in 2011. The lower on-track handle can be attributed to the seven fewer wagering opportunities than last year.

The total wagering on Remington Park races, including off-track locations, was $17,640,625 which was 9.2% lower than in 2011.

Once again, owners and trainers supported the Remington Park racing product by providing events with competitive and full-fields. Through the 563 races, 5,151 starters left the gate for an average field size of 9.2 per race. The average field size held at 9.2 per race for the third consecutive season.

Total horsemen’s purses for the season reached $13,222.525 for a daily average of $264,451, both up 1.1% compared to the 2011 season of the same number of race dates.

Live racing is now on hiatus at Remington Park until the 2012 Thoroughbred Season begins on Aug. 10. Until then, Remington Park is open daily for simulcast racing and will feature the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9 as I’ll Have Another attempts the first Triple Crown since 1978.

Remington Park opens daily at 10am for casino gaming and simulcast racing, featuring the Bricktown Brewery on the casino floor. Admission, general parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park.

Remington Park is Oklahoma City’s only Racetrack & Casino, located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.