06/12/2001 12:00AM

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The final hour of NBC's broadcast of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Eastern, received a final Neilsen rating of 4.9 and a share of 14, a 58 percent increase over the final hour of ABC's Belmont broadcast last year, NBC said Tuesday. The rating peaked during the final half-hour of the show, at a 5.5 rating and 15 share. . . . Nevada race books handled $1,238,481 on the Belmont card, according to the Las Vegas Dissemination Company. That one-race total was 54.9 percent of the statewide handle on Belmont's 12-race card ($2,254,343) and 28.1 percent of the state's handle for all tracks on the day ($4.4 million). . . . The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Tuesday that it has purchased a $30,000 fingerprint machine for the National Racing Compact, which offers national licensing for racing participants. The machine replaces traditional ink-and-paper fingerprinting and will allow digital submission of fingerprints for applicants.