07/23/2013 12:12PM

Saratoga opening week business down

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Handle and attendance were down through the first four days of the Saratoga meet when compared to last year, according to figures compiled by Daily Racing Form .

Attendance through the first four days was 70,390, down 6.6 percent from last year’s figure of 75,369.

Ontrack handle totaled $11,317,016, down 11 percent compared to last year’s total of $12,731,605. All-sources handle on Saratoga was $60,799,199, down 4.5 percent from last year’s figure of $63,688,669.

The handle was down despite the fact total betting interests were 380, up 3.2 percent from last year’s 368. There were 21 races run on turf this year, compared to 22 last year. As was the case last year, no races had to be taken off the turf through the first four days of the meet.

Last Friday’s opening-day card was hampered by significant heat which kept the crowd down 15 percent from last year. Though there was an increase in attendance on Sunday, all-sources handle was down $2.1 million, or 13 percent, on that day from the previous year.

The decline in business is in sharp contrast to last year when attendance was up 2 percent, ontrack handle was up 14.2 percent, and all-sources handle increased 12.3 percent when compared to 2011.