08/03/2016 1:00PM

Handle up 3.9 percent early in meet


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Despite much-needed rain that forced the cancellation of two days’ worth of turf racing, all-sources handle at Saratoga was up 3.9 percent through the first 10 days of the 2016 meet when compared with last year.

Ontrack handle, however, was down 7.2 percent.

All-sources handle was $165,398,558 through the first 10 days, compared with $159,069,259 wagered in 2015. Ontrack handle was $36,239,525, down from the $39,068,597 wagered in 2015.

Saratoga enjoyed increases in all-sources handle through the first eight days of the meet until inclement weather prompted a drop of $7.1 million in handle for the Sunday and Monday programs combined. All 11 turf races scheduled for those two days were transferred to the main track. Last year, only eight flat turf races were moved to the dirt for the entire 40-day meet.

Last Saturday, for the 11-race Jim Dandy Stakes card, all-sources handle was $29.7 million, up more than $3.1 million from the same card in 2015. This year, there was $3.2 million wagered on the pick six, with bettors chasing a $502,797 carryover.

There have been 102 races run at this year’s meet, 40 on turf. Through this stage last year, there were also 102 races run, 48 on turf. Average field size at this meet is 8.09 horses per race, compared with 8.78 last year at this time.

The New York Racing Association has announced paid admissions to this point as 280,527, a 2.1 percent increase over 274,618 through the first 10 days of 2015.