07/21/2013 1:24PM

Belmont Park: Total handle rises, on-track handle dips at spring-summer meet

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Total handle was up slightly from last year, although on-track handle was down significantly, at the recently concluded Belmont Park spring-summer meet, according to figures released Sunday by the New York Racing Association.

Total handle on Belmont’s races was $573 million, up 1.2 percent from $566 million in 2012. On-track handle was $78 million, down 10.4 percent from $88 million wagered in 2012.

On-track attendance was 282,488, down 14.1 percent from the 2012 figure of 328,915. In 2012, attendance for the Belmont Stakes card was 85,811, compared with 47,562 this year. On-track handle for the 2013 Belmont Stakes Day card was $10,700,326, and total handle was $88,652,023, compared with $13,777,920 and $96,485,985 last year.

There were 542 races run at this year’s meet, 17 more than in 2012, when one card was lost due to heat and five races were canceled from another card due to a power outage. The average betting interests per race in 2013 decreased 6 percent to 7.7 (4,189 total), compared with 8.2 (4,312 total) in 2012.

The number of turf races increased to 234, with 48 taken off the turf, compared with 225 on and 59 off in 2012.