Saratoga race track.

Saratoga race track.

Skip Dickstein

NYRA Releases 30-Day Comparisons for Spa

2010 Saratoga meet began four days earlier than in 2009.

The New York Racing Association released figures Aug. 30 showing that on-track attendance at Saratoga has declined 5.3% and on-track wagering is down 6% for the first 30 days of the current meet, when compared with the comparable 30 days a year ago.

Although there have been 34 days completed in this year's extended meet, the NYRA comparisons begin with the fifth day of the meet since the Spa stand began four days earlier this year.

Attendance for the 30 days (days 5 through 34) was 667,171, compared with 704,423 for the first 30 days of the 2009 meet, with a daily average of 22,239 compared to 23,481. Saratoga attendance figures include giveaway days, in which some patrons go through the turnstiles more than once due to the lure of the freebies. There have been three such days this year, the same number through the comparable race days last year.

On-track handle for the 30 days totaled $88,817,179, down from $94,468,366. with a daily average of $2,960,573 compared to $3,148,946.

All-sources handle (which combines wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide) for the five weeks was $408,145,326, down 1.7% from $415,187,788 in 2009, with a daily average of $13,604,844 compared to $13,839,593.

Through the first 34 days of the meet, on-track attendance has averaged 21,754, with average on-track handle of $2,908,825, and average all-sources handle of $13,514,208. Average betting interests per race for the meet are 8.33 compared to 8.28 in 2009 with 150 turf races and 24 taken off the turf. NYRA did not include numbers for the first 34 days of the 2009 meet.