What a difference a Triple Crown attempt makes.
A crowd of 52,861 wagered $9,021,196 on Belmont Stakes Day races June 6, compared with $13,233,071 on-track handle a year ago when Big Brown's Triple Crown attempt was witnessed by 94,476. The 2008 handle figure was second-highest in Belmont Stakes Day wagering history.
All-source handle this year totaled $89,705,994, down 10.2% from the $99,943,516 in 2008, the second highest all-sources handle in Belmont Stakes Day history).
While predicatably down from 2008, this year's on-track handle represented a 2% increase over $8,843,720 in 2007, the most recent year when a Triple Crown was not on the line. With an additional $615,895 wagered at Belmont on incoming simulcasts, the total on-track handle this year was was $9,637,091, compared to $9,580,465 in 2007.
Total all-source handle this year represented an 18.6% increase over $75,657,986 in 2007, and was the biggest ever on Belmont Stakes Day in a non-Triple Crown year.
Betting interests for Belmont Stakes Day totaled 120, compared to 116 in 2008 and 106 in 2007.
“Today was a brilliant day of racing, and I thank all of our customers and racing participants,” said Charles E. Hayward, president and CEO of the New York Racing Association, Inc. "It was a great experience walking around the track today and seeing smiles on lots of faces.”