Big finish to racing season at Del Mar Racetrack

DEL MAR, Calif. - The 2013 horse racing season at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club ended Wednesday, but Thoroughbred Club President and CEO Joe Harper told 10News revenues were up significantly over last year's record numbers.

The average daily handle was $2.4 million and off-track betting was nearly five times that at $10.4 million. That means on-track betting was up 4.1 percent and off-track betting was up 8 percent every day over last year.

"We're kind of a sexy place to put your money and that's working out well for us. Our off-track numbers are pretty high," said Harper.

Attendance was high as well, as there were 20,000 visitors per race day -- nearly twice what Santa Anita Park is doing these days in the Los Angeles area.

Point Loma resident Sally Murdock was sad to see her 45th straight year at the Del Mar Racetrack come to a close. She and her best friend Sue have attended nearly half of the 37 race days this season.

"I don't care whether I win or not. It's the horses I come to see," Murdock said.

"This was a dream season," Harper said.

But next season, when Del Mar has a second round of races in November, does Harper fear that will siphon off summertime visitors?

"No, I don't think it will. It's going to be a different kind of meet. We didn't want to put it close to the summer because we didn't want to dilute those numbers," said Harper.

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