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Handle Increases Continue At Belmont Spring/Summer Meet

By Dan Silver | 07/19/2012 06:13 PM ET

On-track handle, total handle, and NYRA Rewards account wagering continued their upward trends at the 2012 Belmont Park spring/summer meet which ran 55 days from April 27 through July 15, according to the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
On-track handle on NYRA races was $88 million, up 13.4 percent from $77 million in 2011. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $563 million, up 9.4 percent from $515 million in 2011.

NYRA Rewards account wagering, including bets made on Belmont races and simulcast races, also posted gains. NYRA Rewards telephone wagering was up 17.8 percent, increasing to $15.7 million from $13.3 million, and internet wagering was up 26.7 percent, increasing to $27.4 million from $21.6 million.

Handle at the Aqueduct simulcast center also increased, with $36 million wagered on Belmont’s races and on simulcast races, a 53.7 percent increase from $23 million wagered at Aqueduct in 2011.

Attendance at Belmont Park decreased 1.1 percent to 328,915 from 332,413 in 2011. Attendance at the Aqueduct simulcast center was 121,820, a 158 percent increase from last year’s attendance of 47,208.

There were 525 races run this year compared to 530 in 2011, due to the cancellation of five races on June 22 because of a storm and loss of power at Belmont Park. Average betting interests per race increased 12 percent to 8.2 (4,294 total) compared to 7.3 (3,894 total) in 2011. Turf races decreased to 223 with 59 taken off the turf, compared to 244 on and 29 off in 2011.

Aqueduct and the Belmont Café will be open for simulcasting for the Saratoga meet which runs from Friday, July 20 through Labor Day, Monday, September 3 with live racing six days a week, Wednesday through Monday.

Below are the exact totals for the 2012 Belmont Park spring/summer meeting as compared to last year:
Racing Days
55 in 2012, 55 in 2011
Belmont Park Attendance
Down 1.1 percent (328,915 vs. 332,413)
Aqueduct Simulcast Center Attendance
Up 158 percent (121,820 vs. 47,208)
On-Track Handle* (including simulcast races)
Up 10.6 percent ($155,672,521 vs. $140,769,767)
On-Track Handle* (just NYRA races)
Up 13.4 percent ($87,660,853 vs. $77,319,170)
Total Handle (including simulcast races)
Up 9.1 percent ($631,447,699 vs. $578,534,100)
Total Handle (just NYRA races)
Up 9.4 percent ($563,436,030 vs. $515,083,504)
NYRA Rewards Wagering
Phone up 17.8 percent ($15,666,539 vs. $13,300,054)
Internet up 26.7 percent ($27,411,634 vs. $21,636,104)
Aqueduct Wagering
Up 53.7 percent ($35,925,684 vs. $23,372,381)

* Please note that NYRA on-track wagering numbers include handle wagered on-track at Belmont Park, through NYRA Rewards account wagering, and at the Aqueduct simulcast center*