08/06/2006 11:00PM

Weekend crowd in Jersey tops 70,000


Over 70,000 fans turned out for the two biggest days in New Jersey racing, which featured major 3-year-old stakes.

On Saturday, the $1.5 million Hambletonian for trotters attracted 29,531 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The combined handle from all sources was over $8 million. In 2005, the Hambletonian drew 31,245 and a combined handle of $9 million.

Monmouth Park hosted the $1 million Haskell Invitation on Sunday before 42,318, the fifth-highest turnout for the race. Total handle was $11.8 million. Both figures were less than 2005, when the Haskell Day crowd was 43,769 and the combined handle topped $12.5 million.