08/11/2013 10:49AM

Saratoga: Ontrack handle down slightly at meet's halfway point

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All-sources handle was basically flat, while ontrack business was down slightly, through the first half of the 2013 Saratoga meet when compared with the first half of the 2012 meet, according to figures released Sunday by the New York Racing Association.

All-sources handle on Saratoga’s races was $286,598,192, up 0.5 percent from $285,295,757 last year. All-sources handle was actually down before Saturday’s card, which, blessed by fantastic weather and the presence of Horse of the Year Wise Dan, attracted $20,513,644 in handle, compared with $18,930,849 on the corresponding day last year. Saturday’s card was the halfway point of the meet.

Ontrack handle for the first half of the meet totaled $68,809,989, off 2.9 percent from $70,892,924 last year.

Attendance for the first half of the meet was 388,607, a 2.2 percent decrease from 397,330 in 2012. While the first few days of the meet were affected by oppressively hot weather, the last 2 1/2 weeks have seen mostly good weather, with the exception of Friday’s card.

Through the first 20 racing days, the average number of betting interests per race was 8.2 (1,689 total over 207 races), compared with 8.3 (1,724 total over 207 races) in 2012. There have been 100 turf races and eight races taken off the turf and moved to the main track, compared with 85 on and 21 off in 2012, according to NYRA figures.