Updated on 07/25/2012 4:36PM

Saratoga business up markedly in first week

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Blessed by tremendous weather and, for the most part, large fields, Saratoga enjoyed increases in handle and attendance through the first week of the meet, compared to 2011.

Ontrack handle for the first four days was $12,731,605, up 14.2 percent from the $11,146,737 wagered last year.

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga both ontrack and from simulcast outlets, was $63,688,669, up 12.3 percent from $56,688,557 last year.

Though Saratoga appeared empty on Monday, the crowd of 9,320 was 18 percent higher than last year’s crowd of 7,838. Thus, Saratoga’s attendance through the first four days was 75,369, a 2 percent increase from last year’s figure of 73,875.

This meet began with 41 races with an average field size of nine horses, compared to 40 races and an average field size of 8.4 in 2011. There have been 22 turf races run at Saratoga this year, compared to 16 through the first four days last year.

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Ana Vargas More than 1 year ago
There have been 22 races run at Saratoga this year, compared to 16 through the first four days last year. Missing a word above; TURF?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
ask the politicians what casinos do for communities compare what saratoga racing does for saratoga springs,or del mar or keenland do for the citys their located at compared to what foxwoods and the moeghan sun have done to norwich c.t.,or what the casinos have done for atlantic city.horseracing tracks also support rural communities where the horses are bred and raised,there is no benefit to racinos other than to fleece the customers of the track,the reason there are fewer and fewer people a some tracks is because of what they have to offer or dont offer,and casinos are not going to change that only futher impoverish the cities around them.
jack s More than 1 year ago
I was at Sha Tin in Hong Kong last month...a nondescript card on a rainy Sunday....they handled 110 million USD on the 10 race card.....English race tracks often have 25,000 in the stands on a sunny Saturday even though they charge about $30 to enter the race course. In other words management, don't both patting yourselves on the back.
mikey More than 1 year ago
When you are the best in the business people will show up.I travel from the west coast every year to go to the SPA.P arking is a pain seat's a nightmare. weather hot humid and rainy but still the best place to be.This place is the #1 place for racing in the country.The jock's are top notch horse's great and just a great place to be.When all other track's close the SPA will still be there.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
saratoga is the best racing in the country,i love going up there.but it could be even better with a little vision.an upgrade of the facilitys and some more international events to atract turists from other countries.a asian 3 day festival with guest jockeys from the east maybe a 4 race usa vrs asia jockey challenge, with some promotions in china,japan, singapore,hong kong,have an asian food festival simultaneously.or a dress like the royals day with prizes for royal lookalikes,who knows invite one of the princes,i think it woul be fun for one day to have lady di,kate and the queen impersonators walking around,and maybe a ladys hat contest.i mean for crying out loud how many people are going to drive 3 or 4 hours to receive a t-shirt or a pen?,saratoga is great for us bettors but the ladies are bored after watching a couple of races especially if they dont win,why not make it into something special and fun that new people will circle on their calender and come every year to. you can have 5 weeks of serious horseracing and a few fun festivals mixed in with racing for the other week and a half.also put up some modern interactive big touch screens with pictures and replays of famous horses at saratoga,give it a little historic perspective,recreate or show secretariats loss along with some other of the games biggest upsets,and some of the great moments,have interactive replays of races were the patron can get a jockeys view of what happend in the race,or an overhead view,put in user friendly betting machines,have well trained customer service tellers walk around explaining to novices how to bet maybe have them take bets on an ipad with a ticket printer,portable tellers that could be moved to areas were they are needed most.so much could be done other making every track into a money grabing patron bankrupting casino.