07/25/2002 11:00PM

Belmont handle jumps


Belmont Park's 55-day spring/ summer meet that ended on July 21 had significant increases in attendance and handle.

Total commingled handle on only Belmont races rose 13 percent from a year ago to $657,789,145. Total handle, which included simulcasting at Belmont, rose 12 percent to $682,430,355.

Ontrack attendance, buoyed by the largest Belmont Stakes Day crowd in history (103,222) was up 5 percent to 465,220.

Ontrack handle on NYRA races increased 2 percent to $82,740,074. Ontrack handle, including simulcasting, improved 1 percent to $107,381,284.

"The significant rise in total handle since last fall at Belmont has been particularly remarkable," said Terry Meyocks, NYRA's president. "This meet has continued that trend. In its first full year in effect, the reduced takeout has returned more than $37 million to fans who wager on our races across the country, and obviously that has had a very positive impact on our business."

Racing returns to Belmont on Sept. 6 for a 33-day fall meeting.