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Numbers Remain Strong at Saratoga

After 10 days of racing, total handle is up 6.7% and attendance has increased 1.2%.

After 10 days of racing at the boutique Saratoga Race Course meet, wagering and attendance continue on an up-tick, according to the New York Racing Association.

NYRA reported July 30 that attendance for the first two weeks of the meet at the upstate New York track was 203,780, a 1.2% increase from 201,400 in 2011.

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $142,894,233, up 6.7% from $133,920,503 last year. On-track handle of $28,941,361 represented a 4.4% increase from $27,728,174 last year.

Wagering downstate at Belmont Café and the Aqueduct simulcast center was $5,308,731 for a combined on-track handle of $34,250,092, up 5.2% from $32,549,735 in 2011.

NYRA reported average betting interests per race were 8.8 (887 total) compared to 8.5 (846 total) for the first 10 days in 2011. There have been 47 turf races and seven races taken off the turf and moved to the main track, compared to 44 on and five off in 2011.

When racing resumes Aug. 1, there should be heightened interest among bettors nationwide as Saratoga has a two-day Pick 6 carryover of $239,114.97. The Pick 6 gets underway at 3:13 p.m. (EDT) with race 5. Three of the six races attracted 10 or more entries, excluding also-eligible and main-track-only entrants.