07/29/2009 11:00PM

Belmont meet figures decline


Keeping in line with the rest of the industry, Belmont Park suffered steep declines in handle and attendance for the recently concluded 64-day meet.

Daily average all-sources handle, which includes money bet on Belmont races from simulcast outlets, was $9,841,614, a 13.9 percent decrease from 2008, when the meet was 58 days. Total all-sources handle was $629,863,276, a 5.2 percent decline from 2008.

Daily average ontrack handle on Belmont's races was $991,603, down 17.5 percent from 2008. Total ontrack handle was $63,462,612, down 9 percent from 2008.

Daily average attendance was 5,588, down 17.2 percent. This year's Belmont Stakes - when there was no Triple Crown on the line - drew 52,861 fans, down from the 94,476 that came for Big Brown's failed Triple Crown bid in 2008.

"The real story of the meet," said the New York racing Association's president and CEO, Charles Hayward, "was the horrendous weather, as evidenced by the remarkable number of 77 races washed off the turf and many more races that could not be carded on the turf due to the unrelenting rain."