11/03/2010 4:02PM

Belmont meet sees handle increase

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Handle and attendance figures at the recently concluded Belmont Park fall meet rose significantly when compared with last year’s fall meet, which was plagued by foul weather and double-digit declines in the same categories.

The upticks in the figures were good news considering the declines facing many racetracks in the U.S. over the past two years, but the average daily all-sources figure for handle also remained well short of the figures posted during the fall meet of 2008.

For the 35-day meet, daily average all-sources handle was $8.3 million, an increase of 5.1 percent over the average daily handle for last year’s 33-day meet of $7.9 million, according to figures provided by Belmont’s operator, the New York Racing Association. Two years ago, average daily all-sources handle for the fall meet was $9.6 million, which was significantly down from the 2007 fall meet handle of $10.5 million.

Average daily on-track handle was $820,000 a day, compared to $721,000 a day this year, an increase of 13.7 percent compared to last year’s meet, according to the figures.

Daily average attendance for the fall meet this year was 3,644, up 5 percent compared to the daily average of 3,470 last year, when unusually rainy weather depressed handle and attendance figures.