OCEANPORT: The 2015 racing season at Monmouth Park is over and track officials are reporting increases in several areas.
From 58 days of racing in 2015, Monmouth's total handle averaged $4,596,801, a quarter of a percent increase over the 2014 average of $4,585,779, when 57 days were contested.
Average attendance this season was 9,646, besting last year's average of 9,296, creating a 3.8 percent increase.
One of the only decreases as the on-track handle which averaged $526,821; 2.2 percent less than last year's average of $538,540.
Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack, said he was pleased with this year's gains.
"Considering what we are up against, it's hard not to call this a success," Drazin said in a release. "We're surrounded by jurisdictions that offer casino gaming at racetracks. We saw Saratoga put on a record setting meet and now Parx offering purses that are unrivaled in the Mid-Atlantic. Yet through all that, we were able to post solid figures and set records of our own."
This year's William Hill Haskell Invitational was also record-breaking. The Aug. 2 race day included a victory by Triple Crown-winning horse American Pharoah which brought out an all-time New Jersey record crowd of 60,983 as well as an all-time record handle of $20,024,509.
"We are so proud of the job everyone did at Monmouth and thankful for everyone who came out to see the Triple Crown winner," Drazin said. "We certainly put our best foot forward and put the world on notice that Monmouth Park is an elite racing venue with hospitality that is second to none."
The season also included several well-attended events included the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival and Barbecue and Craft Beer Festival as well as first-time events like Fantasy Football Weekend.