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Total Handle Up, Attendance Down through First Half of 2013 Saratoga Race Course Meeting

By Eric Wing | 08/11/2013 11:29 AM ET

Total wagering on races at Saratoga Race Course increased compared to 2012 levels through the first half (20 days) of the meet, according to The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $286,598,192, up 0.5 percent from $285,295,757 last year.

On-track handle on Saratoga races totaled $68,809,989, off 2.9 percent from $70,892,924 last year.

Attendance for the first half of the meet was 388,607, a 2.2 percent decrease from 397,330 in 2012. Attendance figures were negatively impacted by less-than-ideal weather on the July 19 opening day program and on Saratoga's lone Giveaway Day during the first 20 racing dates, July 28.

Through the first 20 racing days, average betting interests per race were 8.2 (1,689 total over 207 races) compared to 8.3 (1,724 total over 207 races) in 2012.  There have been 100 turf races and 8 races taken off the turf and moved to the main track, compared to 85 on and 21 off in 2012. 

* Note: Attendance figures for Giveaway Days include patrons who pay multiple admissions to obtain more than one giveaway item, either at the track entrance or at the multiple admissions area inside the track.  There was one Giveaway Day during the first 20 days of the 2013 Saratoga meeting, and there was one through the first 20 days of the 2012 meet.