11/09/2013 4:51PM

Belmont Park: Handle reaches five-year high at fall meet


Thanks to mostly ideal autumn weather that allowed for an abundance of turf racing, and the institution of the popular 50-cent Pick 5, business was brisk at Belmont Park’s 2013 fall meet, as five-year highs were set in all-sources and on-track handle, according to figures released Saturday by the New York Racing Association.

All-sources handle, including on-track wagering and simulcast outlets nationwide, was $326,878,686, the highest figure of the past five years. It was an increase of 9.8 percent from $297,670,005 last year, and 24.3 percent from $263,037,788 in 2011.

On-track handle was 47,238,016, up 11 percent from $42,499,742 last year, and 13.4 percent from $41,656,097 in 2011.

On-track attendance for the 37-day session was 126,469, a 10.7 increase from 114,294 last year.

Although the average number of betting interests dipped slightly from 8.5 to 8.4 per race, only seven of 198 scheduled turf races were taken off the turf. In 2012, only 140 turf races were run, while 40 were taken off.

“Anchored by Super Saturday and Empire Showcase Day, the Belmont fall meet was a solid success,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. By continuing to focus on enhancing the experience of guests - both on and off track - and improving the quality of racing, we will give our fans every reason to play our races more frequently, come out to the track more often, and enjoy themselves even more when they do come out. We also wish to thank the New York State Gaming Commission for allowing us to introduce at the Belmont fall meet the reduced-takeout Pick 5 wager, which is very popular with our players.”

jay More than 1 year ago
Hard to believe that the on-track attendance averaged less than 3500 a day.
Walter More than 1 year ago
I wonder how much impact the pick 5 has to do with the increase? It's a great bet and the popularity of this bet should exhibit to track operators that lower takeout will increase betting handle.
David Smith More than 1 year ago
the cards have not been great..but ny still has the best racing...i still would like to see the the u. s. go to the win place wager versus the win, place, show wager.....less breakage ..higher payouts
Eddie Smith More than 1 year ago
I guess there's a glut of players enamored with NY breds and turf sprints. I frankly don't bet NYRA other than the occasional stakes race. I find the quality overrated and completely dislike every dirt race being one turn.
Rich Blaho More than 1 year ago
Pretty sure you must be a west coast guy. New York has the best racing product right now with the two Keeneland meets running a close second. Being from Kentucky that's hard to admit but simply the truth!
Clinton Blake More than 1 year ago
Rich, as a New Yorker, I'm pleased that you hold the NY product in such high regard. I think that both keeneland meets along with Saratoga provide the top 3 meets annually. I can also see rich' s criticism of offering so ' many NY bred races. They do at times show how the overall stock in NY has dipped with such a reliance on them to fill most cards out.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Strong figures (All the best to NYRA) I hope the future is even brighter - Especially in creating or having Championships for the East Coast if Santa Anita is permanent for the Breeders Cup - I love east-coast tracks, horses, and connections. NYRA appears best for the Professional Handicapper
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I'm suprised. I found a lot of cards were unplayable and had to go elsewhere.