Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course

Coglianese Photos

Spa Wagering Up, Attendance Down Slightly

All-sources handle up 0.5% and attendance down 2.9% at meet's mid-point.

The New York Racing Association reported that all-sources wagering was up less than 1% and attendance down slightly during the first half of the 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course.

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

On-track handle on Saratoga races declined 2.9% to $68,809,989 from $70,892,924 last year for the first 20 days of the meet a year ago.

Attendance for the first half of the meet was 388,607, down 2.2% from 397,330 in 2012.

In a possible explanation for the attendance decline, NYRA said there was "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 eight races taken off the turf and moved to the main track, compared to 85 on and 21 off in 2012 for the first half of the meet.

According to The Jockey Club Information Systems, purses totaled $18,342,420 for the 20-day period this year, up from $16,265,800 a year ago.

Read more from Saratoga in Vic Zast's Saratoga Diaries.