Chrome's Crown Quest Results in Record Handle

Chrome's Crown Quest Results in Record Handle
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
102,199 watched California Chrome's Triple Crown bid.

California Chrome's unsuccessful Triple Crown quest was very good for Belmont Park, which reported record on-track and all-source handle and third-highest attendance of 102,199 on June 7.

Boosted by the classic and nine other stakes races on the card, on-track handle totaled $19,105,877 and all-sources handle of $150,249,399 easily eclipsed all-time NYRA records. The on-track handle figure includes money wagered at Belmont Park, at Aqueduct Racetrack, and through NYRA Rewards.

The previous on-track handle record of $14,742,520 and all-sources handle record of $124,009,593 both were set on Oct. 29, 2005 when Belmont Park hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
 
The Belmont Stakes attendance record remains 120,139, which was set in 2004 when Birdstone denied Smarty Jones a sweep of the Triple Crown. The attendance in 2002, when War Emblem came up short in his Triple Crown bid, was 103,222.

The previous Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day handle records were set in 2004, with $14,461,402 wagered on track and $110,994,390 wagered from all-sources.

"We're so proud of this record-breaking day of racing at Belmont Park and give our special thanks to the more than 102,000 fans who joined us this afternoon," Chris Kay, president and CEO of the New York Racing Association, said in a statement.

"Congratulations to our 146th Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and his connections for an outstanding performance in the 'Test of the Champion.' Thanks also to the great run from California Chrome, whose terrific story captivated the nation for the past five weeks.

"We are also extremely pleased with the terrific lineup of 10 stakes races propelling our handle to an all-time Belmont Stakes Day and Belmont Park record of more than $150 million in total wagering and more than $19 million bet on track. To top it off, we had sparkling entertainment lineup led by LL COOL J, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Dee Riscoli from the Tony Award winning cast of Wicked."

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