08/12/2017 8:37PM

Business up through first half of Saratoga meet

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – It rained again on Fourstardave Day in Saratoga. But unlike last year, when the final six races on the card were canceled, the New York Racing Association got in all 11 races Saturday completing what has been a wildly successful first half from a business standpoint.

All-sources handle through Saturday was $342,506,638, a 10.6 perent increase over last year’s figure of $309,760,529. Ontrack handle was $79,761,216, an 8.6 percent increase over last year’s figure of $73,451,290.

Through Saturday, the NYRA has run 202 races at Saratoga, with 101 being conducted on the turf. Only eight races have been transferred to the dirt due to inclement weather. In 2016 at this point, there had been 196 races run, 88 on the turf. Nineteen races had been rained off the turf and four additional races had been canceled due to a storm that hit on Fourstardave Day.

Field size this year is 8.40 horses per race, compared to 8.07 last year.

The negative to this meet is that there have been six racing-related fatalities and an additional five training fatalities through the first half of the season. Last year, there were four racing-related fatalities and one training fatality through the same period.