05/19/2017 8:04PM

Record handle, attendance for Black-Eyed Susan card

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BALTIMORE – Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan card at Pimlico Race Course set a handle record when $19.89 million was wagered on the 14-race card.

Handle was up 6 percent over the record for a Black-Eyed Susan Day of $18.66 million set last year. The Friday card included seven stakes, topped by the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and Grade 3 Pimlico Special.

An additional $750,000 was bet on the two-day Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness daily double, bringing total wagering Friday to more than $20 million.

The Maryland Jockey Club also announced record attendance of 50,339 on Friday, up from the record for a Black-Eyed Susan Day of 47,956 that management announced in 2016.

The program began under clear skies, but a thunderstorm passed through before the Black-Eyed Susan, and the final four races of the day were held over a sloppy track.

"We believe our total handle could have been larger if not for the afternoon rainstorm and some 20 scratches," said Sal Sinatra, president of the Maryland Jockey Club.