09/02/2001 11:00PM

Monmouth crowds, handle rise


Monmouth Park, which closed on Sunday after 72 live days of racing, posted a 10 percent increase in average attendance compared with last year, to 10,757 a day. The average was its highest since 1985, when it was 11,478.

The track set a record for a single program on Aug. 5 when 47,127 people turned out to watch Point Given race in the Haskell Invitational, breaking the mark of 43,591 set in 1962.

Overall handle at the meet was $334,677,000, or $3,948,623 a day, an increase of 25 percent over last year. Handle was increased by wagers from New York, where the Monmouth signal this year was taken for the first time, helping to increase out-of-state handle on Monmouth by 40 percent.

Average overnight purse distribution was $301,000, a record. The track received nearly $12 million this year in a purse supplement from the state.