Strong attendance and handle numbers marked the return of racing to Vernon Downs last weekend, doing well to set the stage for the 2014 meet."We were very happy with the numbers for opening weekend all across the board but especially the response to the 50 cent minimum for trifecta tickets," said director of racing Scott Warren. "Even with the lower minimum we showed nearly a 30% per race increase compared to opening weekend last year."
On-track attendance was up both nights from Opening Weekend 2013, while live handle was up nearly 5% per race from last year's figures. Additionally, the simulcast market showed up in earnest, with export handle figures showing a 25% per-race increase and a 14.1% overall increase this year from the first weekend of 2013.
Horseplayers can feel confident in their wagers with the help of the new "Handicapping Resources" page on the Vernon Downs website, featuring detailed race analysis and trip notes at http://www.vernondowns.com/racing/handicapping.php.
After a strong opening weekend, Vernon Downs hosts two late closing series starting this weekend. Trotters contest the Catherine Burton series starting on this evening (Fri., April 18), while pacers square off in the Anthony Farina series on Saturday (April 19). Both series culminate with $10,000 added finals on Saturday, May 3. Tonight's card also features a free on-track handicapping contest, where fans can vie for a $500 top prize.
Post time for both the Friday and Saturday cards this weekend at Vernon Downs is slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.
by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs