08/27/2011 6:46PM

Saratoga: Handle, attendance down slightly for Travers card

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Despite the impending threat of Hurricane Irene as the storm made its way up the East Coast toward Saratoga, both attendance and handle for Saturday’s Travers Day program was off only slightly from a year ago.

A crowd of 43,050 came out under perfect weather conditions to witness Stay Thirsty’s game triumph over Rattlesnake Bridge in the Travers as well as the return of reigning juvenile champion Uncle Mo. The attendance was down just under 6 percent from the 45,764 on hand to watch Afleet Express’s thrilling nose win in the 2010 Travers.

Ontrack handle Saturday was $8,172,452, a decrease of just .6 percent from last year’s total of $8,218,975. Overall handle factoring in downstate wagering at Aqueduct and Belmont was $8,839,281, off .5 percent from the $8,844,774 wagered on Travers Day a year ago. Total all-sources handle was $33,017,384, down 2.65 percent from last year’s $33,890,996.