The Remington Park Racino has seen a significant increase in those turning out to wager on its quarter-horse races since the Oklahoma City venue began holding annual contests involving zebras, camels and ostriches.
The Oklahoma track saw 23,703 visitors attend its most recent exotic racing event on May 8 with wagers totaling $136,500. This is $100,000 higher than a regular Sunday quarter-horse meet in 2015 and a $6,000 boost on last year’s extreme racing day.
The exotic animal races take place between quarter-horse events with Debbie Schauf, Executive Director for the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association, telling The Journal Record newspaper that her sport’s twelve-week season is now defined by this meet.
“This is the best quarter-horse meet in the country,” said Schauf. “Any given entry day, we’ll have as many as 320 entries for 110 opportunities to race.”
Remington Park Racino has featured a casino since 2005 with park announcer Dale Day stating that this attraction has additionally helped to boost visitor numbers. Although state law stipulates that the business must hand over one-quarter of its profits in tax, half of the remaining amount stays at the track while the difference is split between thoroughbred and quarter-horse purses. As a result, this season’s average daily race pool hit a record $300,000, which is a 2% increase year-on-year, despite attendance failing to reach the record high of 26,639 seen in 2013. In comparison, last year’s Kentucky Derby Day welcomed 18,000 spectators with the matching Oklahoma Derby seeing around 12,000.
“That day may bring people out for their one and only time each year,” Day told The Journal Record. “Our idea is that it will help us down the line in the future to bring more people out.”