From the New York Racing Association
All-sources handle for the recently-concluded 64-day Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet decreased 13.9% from 2008 totals, in contrast with industry-wide decreases of 16.9% in June, and 10.5% through the first six months of 2009 compared to 2008 figures. Incessant rain throughout the meet resulted in 77 races taken off the turf and many more turf races which could not be carded.
Daily average all-sources handle for the meet was $9,841,614, down 13.9% from $11,424,237 in 2008. Total all-sources handle was $629,863,276, down from $662,605,734 for the 58-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet in 2008.
Daily average on-track handle was $991,603, down 17.5% from $1,202,108 in 2008. Total on-track handle for 2009 was $63,462,612, compared to $69,722,257 in 2008.
Daily average attendance was 5,588, down 17.2% from 6,752 in 2008. Total attendance for the 64-day 2009 meet totaled 357,659, down from 391,634 for the 58-day meet in 2008. The 2008 attendance was inflated by a Belmont Stakes day crowd of 94,476 when a Triple Crown was on the line, compared to 52,861 in 2009.
On-track handle for 2009 Belmont Stakes day, June 6, was $9,021,196, a 2% increase over $8,843,720 in 2007, the most recent year when a Triple Crown was not on the line. Total all-sources handle was $89,705,994 – the biggest ever in a non-Triple Crown year – an 18.6 % increase over 2007, and only a 10.2% decrease over 2008 (which was the second highest all-sources handle in Belmont Stakes day history).
“The Belmont Park spring/summer meet witnessed some tremendous racing performances, such as Summer Bird’s triumph in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I),” said New York Racing Association president and CEO Charles Hayward. “The real story of the meet, however, was the horrendous weather as evidenced by the remarkable number of 77 races washed off the turf and many more races that could not be carded on the turf due to the unrelenting rain.”