by Pat McKenna
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that the Belmont Park spring/summer meet generated all-sources handle of $634,276,776, a 9.1 percent increase over the 2017 Belmont spring/summer meet.
Average daily handle over the 53 days of racing was $11,967,486, an 11.1 percent increase over 2017.
The June 9 Belmont Stakes Day card, highlighted by Justify's Triple Crown triumph, generated all-sources handle of $137,954,895, the second-highest one-day handle in NYRA history behind Belmont Stakes Day in 2014.
All-sources handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival was $168,975,295.
The July 7 Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, comprised of five graded stakes and highlighted by Catholic Boy's thrilling victory over Analyze It in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Belmont Derby Invitational, generated all-sources handle of $24,612,465, the highest such handle figure since NYRA launched the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival in 2014.
The entire July 1 card was canceled due to extreme heat. As a result, the 2018 Belmont spring/summer meet saw one fewer day of live-racing than in 2017.
Live thoroughbred racing will return to historic Saratoga Race Course on Friday, July 20 for its premier 40-day summer meet. The 2018 meet includes 69 stakes worth a record $18.85 million in purses, and will run through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays.
2018 Belmont Park spring/summer meet
All-sources handle: $634,276,776
All-sources average daily handle: $11,967,486
On-track handle: $79,507,416
Race days: 53
2017 Belmont Park spring/summer meet
All-sources handle: $581,496,467
All-sources average daily handle: $10,768,453
On-track handle: $77,960,658
Race days: 54