10/24/2006 11:00PM

Belmont handle rises


Average daily attendance was up slightly, ontrack handle was even, and overall handle was up 6.7 percent at the Belmont Park fall meet when compared with last year's figures. In calculating its numbers, the New York Racing Association did not include attendance and handle from Breeders' Cup Day 2005.

Average daily attendance for this year's 33-day meet was 4,629, up 1.3 percent from last year when attendance averaged 4,568 over 37 days. Ontrack handle averaged $1,310,036, compared with last year's mark of $1,312,189. Daily all-sources handle on Belmont races averaged $10,118,257, up from $9,479,863 in 2005.

Purses fell 5.1 percent to $557,114 at Belmont in part because of the realignment of the 2006 stakes schedule. Average starters increased 5.3 percent to 8.31 per race.

Through 208 race dates this year, NYRA all-sources wagering is averaging $10.7 million per day, up 2.3 percent from last year.