||Lone Star Park Sets Record for On-Track,
Simulcast Handle on May 1
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
- home of this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships -
had its single greatest on-track wagering day Saturday when 17,878 customers
wagered a track record $3,412,562 on 12 live races and simulcasts across
the country, including the 130th Kentucky Derby won by Smarty Jones.
Saturday's hefty on-track handle beat the May 6, 2000 (Kentucky Derby
Day) mark of $3,356,951 by $55,611 despite rainy weather and unseasonably
cool weather in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It represented a 3% increase
from the $3,309,426 wagered on the same day a year ago.
The legion of fans wagered $951,717 on the live program and a track record
$2,460,845 on simulcasts, including $1,156,938 on the Kentucky Derby,
also a new standard. The previous on-track simulcast handle record was
$2,326,765 on Oct. 26, 2002 (Breeders' Cup Day).
Kentucky Derby betting has come a long way in North Texas since the Dallas-Fort
Worth area racetrack opened in 1997. That year, $292,432 was bet on the
historic race, and it has grown 296% since then.
A record number of patrons also took advantage of Lone Star Park's Drive
Thru Wagering service off Belt Line Road at Gate 2. A total of 1,419 cars
passed through the four service lanes and wagered $131,967 on the day,
both new standards.
"The Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace loves big events and they responded
to one of the greatest sporting events in the world via simulcast despite
rainy and unseasonably cool weather," said Jeff Greco, Lone Star
Park's Vice-President and General Manager. "The story of Smarty Jones
has captured the hearts of thousands of horse racing fans across the country.
After his thrilling victory today, Smarty Jones will touch the masses.
He came out of nowhere to become a modern-day Seabiscuit."
"It was a great day of racing, and everyone is talking about Smarty
Jones' tremendous performance today," continued Greco. "He has
created quite a buzz. We can't wait to see what he has in store for the
Smarty Jones is a Pennsylvania-bred who nearly died when he fractured
his skull in a starting gate accident early in his development. His trainer,
John Servis, and jockey, Stewart Elliott, are based at little known Philadelphia
Park. His owner, Roy Chapman, is wheelchair bound and hooked up to an
oxygen tank due to emphysema.
Smarty Jones became a Southwest favorite when he cruised to victories
in the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Spring,
Ark. Now, he's a multi-millionaire and America's darling after bagging
the Derby's $854,800 first prize and a hefty $5 million bonus from Oaklawn
Park. The 3-year-old is now perfect in seven starts and a winner of $6,733,155.
His next start will come in the second leg of the Visa Triple Crown,
the $1 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore,
on Saturday, May 15
An on-track crowd of 17,878 at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie wagered
a track record $1,156,938 on Saturday's 130th Kentucky Derby, won by undefeated
Smarty Jones. The previous track standard was $1,039,758 a year ago.