07/29/2014 11:28AM

All-sources handle down, ontrack business strong for first 10 days of Saratoga

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After Mother Nature put a damper on the final two days of the second week, Saratoga’s all-sources handle is down 9.1 percent through the first 10 days of the meet compared with the same period last year. However, ontrack handle is basically neck-and-neck with last year, while attendance is up 4.2 percent.

The meeting began July 18 and runs through Sept. 1.

All-sources handle through the first 10 days of the meet is $134,495,987, compared with $148,004,109 last year. Ontrack handle is $32,831,717, up less than 1 percent over last year’s figure of $32,770,586.

Reported attendance is 201,421, up from 193,235 in 2013. Saratoga has hosted two giveaway days, compared with one last year at this time, and the New York Racing Association is not counting “spinners” – patrons who buy more than one admission to get multiple giveaway items.

Handle figured to take a hit this week as wet weather affected the Sunday and Monday cards, resulting in 10 races being taken off the turf and 70 horses being scratched.

Through the first 10 days of this year’s meet, there have been 101 races run, compared with 103 last year. There have been 41 races run on turf (including two steeplechase races) and 10 taken off, compared with 52 on and two off last year.

james More than 1 year ago
Let's see how the meet finishes up. On track, they're doing well at the windows so far. Among Saratoga's strengths is its on track numbers for attendance and wagering. I'm usually a glass half full person and I've been happy to see infrastructure improvements in Saratoga this year. But I'm shocked by the gouging at concession stands. Charlie Hayward instituted low prices for dogs, soft drinks and small draft beer. I recall the prices were $2 for dogs or soft drinks and $3 for a 12oz draft domestic beer. All were very popular and showed some deference to the average fans who were trying to have a day of entertainment on a budget. This year it has certainly changed. I offered to buy two friends a drink and decided to have one myself. For three domestic non premium cans of beer(in the grandstand!) it was $27. A product that would retail for $3 was marked up nine times. Ouch. That's not good and will certainly hurt the concession business and possibly attendance once fans experience that shock. I didn't mind the increase in admission or parking. Gouging at the concession stands is another matter.
Kurt More than 1 year ago
Absolutely agree. And here is the biggest problem- that potential new player, or occasional player is not coming back next year, or again this year- bad taste in their mouth when they bought that $8.50 Coor's Light and the overpriced food. Way to scare off people from attending. Let's gouge the customer, that's how we'll turn NYRA around!
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
Interesting, but does not say why? Ontrack handle and attendance is up. so something up with the off-track betting
Bob More than 1 year ago
The main reason is there are dozens of tracks to bet at simulcast casinos and sites. Wasn't like this years ago. Harness , dog tracks, other thoroughbred tracks all at the same time . Odds are odds regardless where you bet . Is 8-5 at Saratoga any different from 8-5 at Ellis or finger lakes ?
1971 Whippet More than 1 year ago
To enhance the "experience", I heard that NYRA had new flatscreen TVs installed in the park. Okay, although I don't understand why you'd go to Saratoga just to sit under the pines. Maybe it's to avoid the minimum in the Carousel Bar which, by the way, was nearly empty on Sunday. For everyone else, the absence of a crowd in/around the grandstand made it seem like just an ordinary racetrack. I almost feel bad for Tom Durkin. Hard to say how many of us will be there as he calls his last races. He deserves an enthusiastic sendoff.
Virginia Petit More than 1 year ago
Saratoga is a destination track for me. I usually sit in the grandstand, but a picnic table under the pines with strolls to the paddock and inside to watch the race is also a lot of fun when the weather is perfect and you've got a crowd. Saratoga is for people who love racing as much as betting.
avlamal More than 1 year ago
not good thats for sure lower takeout is the only answer
desurvivor . More than 1 year ago
Too many New York breds
Bob More than 1 year ago
The main reason is the are dozens of tracks to bet at simulcast casinos and sites. Wasn't like this years ago. Harness , dog tracks, other thoroughbred tracks all at the same time . Odds are odds regardless where you bet . Is 8-5 at Saratoga any different from 8-5 at Ellis or finger lakes ?
littlebig Lou More than 1 year ago
I don't think people want to gamble on a game that is so crooked -- horse doped up on drugs that can't be detected by authorities. parimutuel odds changing as as the horse cross finish line. it's a friggin joke . who guards the parimutuels? IT guys? oh yeah, sure thing.
Gene Cirillo More than 1 year ago
Little is right!!
Kurt More than 1 year ago
Don't play then Mr. Conspiracy Theory
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
I wonder why. People blowing brains out in casinos!
Mike More than 1 year ago
Economy has bounced back but not racing - SCARY!
jon g More than 1 year ago
Those $9/hr jobs from the "bounceback economy" doesn't help racing handle
Kurt More than 1 year ago
35 hour a week jobs, higher money for healthcare... the economy is better? Less money in people's pockets and less disposable income.
Mickey More than 1 year ago
I meant hear not here...lol