Erie, PA, May 18, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- It was an auspicious beginning for racing this year at Presque Isle Downs & Casino as a large (1,295) enthusiastic crowd showed up to usher in the 6th season of live thoroughbred racing on May 15.
Total wagering on the 8-race card reached a record high of $835,861.91, an increase of 43% from the $583,887.00 wagered a year earlier. The previous opening day record for total handle was set in 2007 with $729,218.
“We believe that our enhanced marketing programs increased awareness of our racing season, which in turn drove handle,” said Debbie Howells, Presque Isle Downs & Casino Director of Racing.
Attendance was also higher than it has been in the past three years and food and beverage sales were up as well.
“All of these factors bode well for a great year of racing,” said Mike Tamburelli VP and General Manager of Presque Isle Downs & Casino. “We have put a lot of effort into improving the facility and enhancing the experience for the horse owners, trainers, jockeys and our customers.”
The property has also renewed an agreement with TVG for the airing of live races. This allows fans that cannot come to the race track or a simulcast venue to view and wager on races.
TVG is considered to be one the top wagering and viewing networks in the United States.
“Our continued association with TVG will give us access to more viewers and help to build awareness that Presque Isle Downs & Casino is a premiere racing facility,” said Howells.
The opening day of racing featured two race stakes that attracted a lot of media attention - The $100,000 Inaugural Stakes and the $100,000 Tom Ridge Stakes. The Inaugural was won by Gypsy Robin and Sum of the Parts went wire-to-wire to secure the victory in the Tom Ridge. Sum of the Parts was ridden by jockey Julien Leparoux, who rode Informed Decision to back-to-back Grade 2 Masters Stakes victories here in 2009 and 2010, and has earned more than $85 million in prize money.
"The fan support and the media attention we received on this beautiful evening was tremendous and helped set the tone for a successful launch to our live racing schedule," said Tamburelli. "We hope to continue this success and turn it into one of the finest and most exciting seasons in this track's short but proud history."
Races are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, with eight-races each evening; first post is 5:25 p.m. Live racing at Presque Isle Downs & Casino runs from now until September 29, 2012.
A free “racing basics” class will be held on select Saturdays to teach racing fans how to select horses and place wagers. The classes will be taught by Ron Mullis and Katie Mikolay, co-hosts of the tracks simulcast show. The first ‘Saturday Morning Stretch’ session will be held this Saturday at 9:30 am on the racetrack patio.
For more information about the class, racing season or schedule, please visit: www.casinoinerie.com
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call 1-800-GAMBLER.