11/12/2001 12:00AM

Meadowlands handle surges

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The Meadowlands Racetrack, closed for a week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, posted surprisingly strong attendance and handle numbers during its recently concluded meet.

Average all-sources handle for the 44-day meet was $2,255,622, up 25 percent from last year's meet and a record for the track. Average ontrack handle increased 14 percent to $604,662.

Supported by the handle figures and a state-sponsored purse supplement, average daily purse distribution was a record at $371,000, a 74 percent increase over last year. Meadowlands officials said the figure was a record for any New Jersey racetrack.

Average attendance was up 1 percent, to 4,582.