07/19/2012 2:06PM

Belmont Park: Wagering up at Belmont Park spring-summer meet


One day before launching what is expected to be another outstanding Saratoga meeting, officials of the New York Racing Association announced that ontrack handle, total handle, and NYRA account wagering all continued upward trends during the recently concluded 55-day Belmont spring-summer meet.

According to NYRA, ontrack handle during the spring-summer meet totaled $88 million, up 13.4 percent from the corresponding period in 2011. All sources handle on NYRA races during the session was $563 million, an increase of 9.4 percent over the previous season.

NYRA Rewards telephone wagering was up 17.8 percent, increasing to $15.7 million, and Internet wagering was up 26.7 percent, increasing to $27.4 million.

Average field size was up 12 percent at Belmont in 2012, to 8.2 horses per race.

The increased wagering totals during the Belmont spring-summer meet can, in part, be attributed to the near record-breaking handle recorded on Belmont Stakes day. A crowd of 85,811 attended the races that afternoon despite the fact I’ll Have Another’s quest for a Triple Crown ended when the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was scratched from the Belmont Stakes the previous afternoon.

Ontrack handle on Belmont day totaled more than $13.7 million, the second largest Belmont Stakes Day ever. All sources handle was more than $96 million, the third largest in Belmont Stakes history.