08/10/2010 11:47AM

Saratoga business trails 2009 figures


All-sources handle on the first two full weeks of the Saratoga meet is down 4.7 percent, ontrack handle is down 11.7 percent and attendance is down 3.2 percent compared to 2009, according to figures released Monday by the New York Racing Association.

Since the comparison is for 12 days of racing, the figures NYRA has decided to use do not include this year’s opening day program while it does include last year’s opening day, which was a Wednesday. This year’s meet opened on a Friday, July 23.

For the first two full weeks of racing – meaning beginning with July 28, the fifth day of the meet – the daily average all-sources handle is $13,617,557 as compared to $14,293,675 for the first 12 days of last year’s meet.

The daily average ontrack handle is $2,865,069 compared with $3,243,512 in 2009.

NYRA has run four fewer races through the first two full weeks this year than last year, resulting in 73 fewer betting interests.

Average daily attendance is 22,650 compared with 23,404 in 2009. NYRA has offered two giveaway items thus far this year – resulting in larger crowds – compared to one through the first 12 days last year.

When NYRA factors in the first four days of this year’s meet, the daily average all-sources handle through 16 cards is $13,421,777, the daily average on-track handle is $2,778,981 and the daily average attendance is 21,516. Saratoga has run 70 turf races at this meet, and has had to take 12 off the grass due to inclement weather.