NYRA's Average Daily Handle Up in 2013
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Saratoga Race Course

The New York Racing Association posted a 2.3% average daily total handle gain for 2013. The increase follows a 2012 season during which NYRA posted sizable gains in all handle categories.

Average daily handle on races at NYRA's three racetracks, Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course, increased 2.3% in 2013 to $9,198,298, up from $8,990,691 in 2012. For the year, NYRA hosted 239 racing days, six fewer than in 2012, and fewer than any of the preceding four years.

Total on-track handle on NYRA races in 2013 was $367,022,646, the second highest such total over the past five years. By comparison, in 2012 when NYRA ran 245 days, on-track handle was $381,114,842. Total handle on NYRA races from all sources was $2,198,393,408, down slightly from $2,202,719,485 in 2012.

Total attendance was 1,666,396, the third-highest tally during the past five years. In 2012, attendance was 1,790,803 for the 245 days.

NYRA said year-over-year totals in 2013 were negatively affected by the reduction in racing days, and the lack of a dual Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)-Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner (as existed in 2012 with I'll Have Another  ), which led to a drop of more than 38,000 in Belmont Stakes Day attendance, a $3.1 million decline in the day's on-track handle on Belmont races, and a $7.8 million decrease in the day's total handle. 

Wagering on NYRA races again accounted for more than 20% of all monies bet on Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. According to Equibase, handle on all races in the United States rose 0.06% to $10.88 billion in 2013. 

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