12/03/2014 3:42PM

Aqueduct handle drops by $26.1M from last year


Coming off a Belmont fall meet for which handle was down $32.1 million from last year, the New York Racing Association experienced another down meet business-wise at Aqueduct, where all-sources handle was down $26.1 million from last fall.

According to numbers compiled by Daily Racing Form , all-sources handle for the 26-day fall meet (Oct. 29-Nov. 30) was $158,551,796, a 14.1 percent decrease from last year’s total of $184,654,040. There also were 26 racing days during last fall, though that meet ran Nov. 1-Dec. 8 before racing switched to the inner track Dec. 11.

As was the case at Belmont, Aqueduct’s meet was severely impacted by inclement weather, which forced 42 scheduled turf races to be moved to the dirt – not including the two that were rained off the turf Wednesday, opening day of the inner track winter meet. There were 42 races run on turf.

Last fall, Aqueduct was able to run 50 races on the turf and only moved 19 to the dirt due to weather. This fall at Belmont, NYRA moved 47 races from the turf to the dirt compared with seven in fall 2013.

According to NYRA President and CEO Chris Kay, handle drops 40 percent when races are moved from the turf to the dirt.

Field size at the Aqueduct fall meet averaged 8.0 horses per race (and 7.9 betting interests) compared with 8.7 starters (8.6 betting interests) in 2013.

In addition to weather and field size, Kay mentioned the closing of four Atlantic City casinos and heightened interest in college football due to the new playoff format could have played roles in the handle decline.

Attendance figures for the Aqueduct fall meet were unavailable.

Rick Marks More than 1 year ago
Someone made a really good point that funding from Resorts World has gone to increase purse structure that benefits owners, trainers and jockeys as well as capital improvements that benefit both the backstretch and the ambience of the track. But, very little has been done to really improve the "Guest Experience" as Mr. Kay likes to call it. He continues to address that issue by increasing parking and admissions fees as well as upping concession pricing. If he really wants to be a champion of the fan as he claims to be -- reducing the takeout would certainly be a strong first step and it wouid also likely increase handle in a big way. Does anyone besides me notice that Pick 6 carryovers on weekdays are now $14-$15K? That's indicative of huge handle drops.
roger More than 1 year ago
Isn't Aqueduct's Fall Meet from Oct.29 thru Dec.31? Also, when your comparing HANDLE numbers.....the current Meet at DAY 26 [last Sunday] was DAY 24 in 2013 [lost 2 days to weather].
Joseph Rotell More than 1 year ago
i'll tell what's really killing horse racing and casino's, it's fantasy football, fantasy baseball and fantasy basketball. fantasy sports has become huge in the last 3 years and its getting bigger fast.
1971 Whippet More than 1 year ago
The Double A affiliate that plays in my town doesn't work to get people in the door only during its' All-Star weekend. They're drawing thousands for every game, even when it's not a good game. And they charge admission. Go to the track. Maybe they can hire a second bartender.
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
cant find this anywhere. Does anyone know the fate of the jockeys and horses that went down at Aqueduct? Thank you.
Tawanna Tillman More than 1 year ago
I've been searching myself. Even on msg the replay show, nothing wassaid.
Steve Byk More than 1 year ago
Tawanna, Rosemarie.. Princes On Thelake had to be euthanized; Mr Rico Is Valid is doing well at the Gullo barn with a shoulder bruise. Able to put weight on it and should be fine. Manny Franco was OK after the spill and able to even come back and win the 6th; Alexandra Jara has a broken collar bone and bruised spleen..
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
There is only one route for NYRA to take. Increase admission prices, increase parking fees, increase concession prices, increase fees on the fees and , of course, increase NYRA Executive Compensation. Then and only then can NYRA truly prosper.
WarChant More than 1 year ago
The four casinos that closed did NOT offer wagering on horses since The Borgata is the only casino in Atlantic City that does
Brian de Jong More than 1 year ago
In 2013, there were five Atlantic City casinos that offered simulcast wagering. Beginning in 2014, there was only one, the Borgata. Four RACEBOOKS closed and I believe that's what he meant....at least I hope that's what he meant. That said, none of them did much business and I think there are many other factors to which he could have pointed.
WarChant More than 1 year ago
borgata was the only one that handled much anyway, the others were uninviting. now borgata gets quite crowded. Having siad that, you're probably right about what he meant
Peter Orlando More than 1 year ago
The handle just moves around. Improvements to a GPWest meet and the new DelMar fall meet has to be part of the decline.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I hear sports gambling is bigger than horse gambling and more money to be made easier
tommy More than 1 year ago
Aqueduct is the worst track!! Aqueduct and Belmont always fix races which is why people play Santa Anita and Churchill downs!! Also Saratoga is a honest tracks well. Also I hear ny jockeys in aqueduct and Belmont get fines and suspensions if they don't pull a horse and actually win the race and vice versa!! But if you ask me Santa Anita fixes plenty or races and delmar as well!
Nathan More than 1 year ago
what planet are you from?