Betting on the Preakness Stakes set a record for the third year in a row, according to the chart of the race, while the overnight rating for the broadcast of the race dropped sharply in the absence of the horses that ran best in the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier.Total betting on the Preakness was $62.84 million, a figure that includes all multi&#45;leg bets ending in the race, up 1.4 percent over the record handle on the race last year. This year&rsquo;s race had 13 betting interests, compared to only eight last year, and the field this year had a tepid 5&#45;2 favorite, whereas the favorite last year was 2&#45;5.Total betting on the 14&#45;race card at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore also set a record, at $99.85 million, according to the charts, a 6.6 percent gain over handle on the 14&#45;race card last year. There were 126 betting interests on the card this year, which was conducted under sunny, dry conditions, compared to 93 last year, when rainy conditions led to scratches that reduced a number of the races to only four or five runners.The full&#45;card handle this year also was up 1.9 percent over the previous record set for the 2017 program, which was run in similar conditions and had field sizes comparable to the 2019 card. While the betting figures were strong, though not surprising considering the difference in conditions between last year and this year, the overnight rating for the Preakness broadcast dropped 21.8 percent, from a 5.5 to a 4.3, according to figures released by NBC. Share, which measures the number of televisions in use tuned to a specific broadcast, dropped from a 12 to a 10.Although racing stayed within the mainstream discussion for the two weeks following the Kentucky Derby due to the disqualification of Maximum Security in the race, the top four finishers in the Derby did not run in the Preakness. Weather across the Eastern seaboard on Saturday also was sunny, which can have a negative impact on television ratings for broadcasts beginning in the late afternoon and early evening.The decline in the Preakness rating followed a strong showing for the overnight rating for the Derby broadcast, which was the highest since 1992. In that case, weather was rainy in most parts of the Eastern United States.Still, the handle records set on the Preakness and its full card followed handle records set on the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and both of those races&rsquo; supporting cards, indicating that racing&rsquo;s big&#45;event days remain strong draws to the sport&rsquo;s customers. The card prior to the Preakness also set a record.Racing has been under intense scrutiny from some quarters of the media and population for the past three months, triggered by a spate of deaths at Santa Anita earlier this year. The disqualification of Maximum Security also has resulted in an outsized amount of attention, with debate about the decision extending beyond the racing industry.While betting on the trifecta and superfecta in the Preakness was down significantly, by 10 percent and 22 percent, respectively, multi&#45;leg bets ending in the race were up by double digits, with the exception of the pick six. The pick three was up 59 percent, the pick four was up 30 percent, and the pick five was up 35 percent, according to charts of the races. No one hit the Super Hi&#45;5 in the Preakness, leading to a $400,000 carryover going into the last race and spurring $837,750 in bets for the pool in the last race on the card. Pimlico reported that attendance Saturday was 131,256, a slight decline from last year, when attendance was reported to be 134,487, the third&#45;largest crowd to attend the race. This year, Pimlico shuttered the entire north end of its grandstand one month prior to the race, citing structural concerns, a decision that cost the track&rsquo;s frontside 6,670 seats. However, Pimlico did offer additional seating to customers who had already purchased tickets in the closed area.