Chad Harmon

Belmont Attendance, Handle Up Despite Weather

NYRA reports a crowd of 55,779 braved rainy conditions to wager nearly $10.1 million.

In spite of rainy weather and muddy track conditions, a crowd of 55,779 wagered $10,098,573 on Belmont Stakes Day races, a 32.9% increase over $7,598,840 in 2010, the New York Racing Association reported June 11. 

An additional $1,465,484 was wagered on incoming simulcasts, bringing the total on-track handle to $11,564,057 compared to $8,229,318 in 2010, a 40.5% increase, according to NYRA. 

Attendance was up 23.3% from 45,243 on Belmont Stakes Day 2010. An additional 2,350 attended Aqueduct Racetrack, which is now open year-round, seven days a week for simulcasting.

All-sources handle, which includes all wagering on Belmont Stakes Day races nationwide, was $81,245,326, an 8.9% increase over last year’s all-sources total of $74,613,144.

The late Pick 4 pool of $2,352,456 was up 16% from last year’s pool of $2,026,444 and broke the previous Belmont Stakes Day Pick 4 pool record of $2,243,068 set in 2009.

The Pick 6 pool was $1,921,917 (which included a carryover of $144,003), a 22% increase over last year’s pool of $1,572,462 (which included a $129,962 carryover). It broke the previous Belmont Stakes Day Pick 6 pool record of $1,869,152 set in 2008.

Ruler On Ice’s 24-1 upset in the Belmont concluded a Pick 6 sequence that featured multiple longshot winners, creating a $1,130,718.52 carryover into Wednesday’s card. In addition to Ruler On Ice’s $51.50 triumph, other upsets in the sequence included It's Tricky ($22.00) turning back odds-on favorite Turbulent Descent in the grade I TVG Acorn Stakes, C. S. Silk ($27.20) wiring the field in the grade I Foxwoods Just a Game Stakes, and Mission Approved ($44.00) using front-running tactics to capture the grade I Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap.

Wednesday’s Pick 6 commences with Race 4, scheduled for 2:36 p.m.

Betting interests for the 13-race Belmont Stakes Day card totaled 125, compared to 117 in 2010 and 120 in 2009.

“We anticipated a sensational renewal of the Belmont Stakes with the Derby and Preakness winners along with the top seven Derby finishers, and today’s race once again proved itself as the ‘Test of the Champion’ with Ruler on Ice prevailing in a gritty stretch battle with Stay Thirsty,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA's president and CEO.

“NYRA thanks all of our racing participants and our customers on track and around the country for their participation in making this an outstanding day for Thoroughbred racing in New York.”