Del Mar

The fledgling off-track betting program at the Del Mar Race Track passed its biggest test so far during Saturday's Breeders' Cup races by bringing in more television monitors and opening up more areas to bettors, Fair Board General Manager Roger Vitaich said Monday.

Paid attendance was 4,972, with a handle of $740,000, compared to Wednesday's opening day figures of 2,648 and $482,370. At the off-track betting operation, fans at Del Mar bet races at Hollywood Park and other tracks and watch the races on television monitors.

Vitaich said he expects the Breeders' Cup and the Kentucky Derby to be the biggest draws for off-track at Del Mar. To accommodate Saturday's crowd, more televisions, more concession stands, more betting windows and more outdoor and indoor tables were provided.

"We just made it," Vitaich said. Within a year, Del Mar Fair Board officials hope to have a two-story, $6-million building devoted exclusively to off-track betting.

On Wednesday, nightly quarterhorse racing from Los Alamitos will join the off-track offerings at Del Mar. A technical foul-up prevented the track from beginning the quarterhorse betting last week.

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