09/03/2013 4:56PM

Saratoga ontrack handle down from 2012


Ontrack handle during the 40-day Saratoga meet was down 2.1 percent compared with the meet last year and attendance dropped 3.8 percent as generally good weather could not stave off a decline, according to final meet figures released Tuesday by Saratoga’s operator, the New York Racing Association.

Total ontrack handle was $147,456,901, NYRA said, for an average of $3.69 million this year compared with an average of $3.77 million last year. Total attendance was 867,182 for an average of 21,680, compared with an average of 22,526 last year.

Saratoga marketed this year’s meet as the 150th at the track, even though the initial Saratoga meet was held at a different racetrack than the current location. The track held numerous promotions in concert with the sesquicentennial and sold merchandise with a special logo during the meet.

Total handle for the meet was down slightly, by 0.3 percent, because of a small uptick in simulcast handle on the track’s races. Total handle was $586,685,154 for an average of $14.67 million, according to the figures.

This year’s meet was generally held during favorable weather conditions, though heavy rains on the last several days resulted in the move of eight turf races to the dirt. This year, 24 races were taken off the turf, compared to 27 last year.

Average field size was 8.1 horses per race, down 3.6 percent compared to last year, when average field size was 8.4 horses, according to NYRA.

Rick Marks More than 1 year ago
On the bright side, Winner's Circle photo ops by NYRA Presidents/CEOs was up more than 400 %.
B LG More than 1 year ago
Hey NYRA, your prices are killing your business. Know one want's to pay $8.00 for a mixed drink (that's only 8 ounces and has nothing in it) or $20.00 for a cold cheeseburger in the clubhouse restaurants . You're ripping people off and they're sick of it. You might as well sit in your own back yard and bet online!
mikey More than 1 year ago
You are right on the money.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
That is normal at ALL Sporting events, and actually, Horse Racing is far lower than most sporting events in that regard.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Why is this a surprise? handle and attendance continue to decline in this industry as a whole because the industry continues to lose customers.....this business is not attracting new fans....the only race that gets any publicity is the Kentucky Derby......
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Quite frankly, I expected the numbers to be down a lot further than they were. You don't realize how many people in the Northeast were not only affected by Sandy, but in many cases STILL are (including those about five miles from Aqueduct in The Rockaways). Business at the Jersey Shore was down FAR WORSE (35-40%) than Saratoga for example.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
The decline in handle was nothing anyone wanted to see, but it was not nearly as bad as it could have been: While there was excessive heat and humidity at the very beginning of the meet and there was excessive wet weather at the end of the meet that in both cases likely caused some patrons to stay away on those days, but those were far from the only reasons NYRA had problems: 1. We had what turned out to be the wettest summer on record, and more specifically, easily the wettest June-July period on record (we shattered the June-July-August record on August 1 with otherwise the full month of August to go at that point). Add to that a nearly two-month stretch of excessive humidity almost every day in June and July, and it was a recipe for damage to homes that needed to be repaired in many cases, using monies that otherwise would have been used for leisure. 2. The effects of Superstorm Sandy from last fall are STILL being felt in many communities. While it has been 10 months since Sandy hit, many people are still dealing with aftereffects of that storm, whether it's rebulding their homes and/or businesses or in some cases having to relocate and still deal with insurance claims and the like. That has occupied many this summer and before then. The excessive rain this summer had not helped matters at all. Saratoga was far from the only place affected by these factors, and in fact, they actually got off quite lightly compared to others. Many businesses along the Jersey Shore saw their business decline 35-40% this summer because of a combination of the extremely wet summer and the fact many people are still dealing with the aftereffects of Sandy some 10 months later. This was very much reflected on Haskell Day at Monmouth Park, which only drew 36,000 this year for an event that normally draws close to 50,000 or so. Many people who normally go to Monmouth for the Haskell or go to other places simply could not afford to this year due to having to spend on the aftereffects of Sandy. All things considered, NYRA actually did better than what could have been realistically expected this summer. The afterefftects of Sandy was basically a huge obstacle to overcome along with the very wet summer, but NYRA did it probably better than most could have given the circumstances.
mikey More than 1 year ago
The truth is this industry continue to lose customers and unable to attract enough new customers to replac those that leave the game for whatever reason(s).
chiefdave777 More than 1 year ago
? When I wager with an NYRA account from home is that considered on track? When I wager the same way but am sitting at the track is that counted the same?