Balmoral Park (3/2/12)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Balmoral averages $101,109 wagered per race in February
$13,346,506 on 12 programs a 44 percent increase over 2011
By Michael Antoniades, Chicago Racing Analyst
Chicago harness racing continues to shine as Balmoral Park showed strong handle gains in February. The one mile oval took advantage of incredible weather and super competitive racing with no dominant trainer or driver. This perfect storm created the lowest percentage of favorites in the nation at 32.01 percent, which has seen Balmoral post a significant increase in business again.
A total of $13,346,506 was wagered on the 12 programs for a nightly average of $1,112,208. When compared against the same 12 programs in 2011, the numbers are uplifting for everyone in Illinois. The total Balmoral handle for February was $4,108,033 higher than the February 2011 total of $9,238,473 and the nightly handle increased an amazing $342,336 per program. These numbers were 44 percent higher in February 2012 when compared to February 2011.
With Balmoral only averaging 11 races per program, the money wagered per race rose to significant levels as well. Players wagered $101,109 per race compared to $69,988 in February 2011. Those levels allowed players to wager more without having an effect on the payouts. Ten-race cards which took a little more than three hours twice a week meant more free time and less work for handicappers. This was another compelling reason for the $31,121 increase per race.
With no trainer or driver able to dominate, the payouts have been extremely generous.
On February 1, the largest Pick Four in Balmoral Park history took place when one lucky patron won $32,400.50 for a buck. Balmoral offers guaranteed Pick Fours with a minimum of $20,000 guaranteed every night with a low takeout of 15 percent. The Pick Four pools have averaged $27,893 with an average winning payout of $2,646.26 on a one dollar ticket. Free program pages are available nightly on the USTA handicapping section. The Pick Four is offered on the Final Four races of the night.
Three weeks later on February 22, the nation was buzzing as the largest Pick 5 pool of the year surpassed $170,000. Three lucky winners each received $44,675.10 for their 50-cent winning ticket, another Balmoral record payout. The Pick 5 is offered on races 2 through 6 nightly. The average payout is $6,009.60 for a 50-cent ticket with an average pool of $19,621.
Balmoral Park offers the ultimate get out bet on their final race of the night. The 10-cent High Five gives players the chance at a big score without a big investment. Trying to pick the top five finishers is a daunting task, but the ten-cent minimum allows everyone a chance. The average payout is $1741.19 on a ten-cent bet. The average pool has been $19,341.
Balmoral Park races on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday nights with a first post of 7:10 central. Balmoral Park offers $1 exacta, 50-cent trifecta and 10-cent superfecta wagering. My Players Guide selections and other harness racing news and stories are available on the handicapping section at oddsonracing.com.
For more information visit www.balmoralpark.com or call (708) 672-1414.
About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.