Coglianese Photos

On-Track Wagering Stable at Belmont Park Meet

Average daily attendance and overall wagering took larger dips.

On-track wagering was stable and overall handle declined slightly during the 57-day Belmont Park meet that concluded July 18.

Total on-track handle for New York Racing Association races was $56,508,485, compared to $63,462,612 for the 64-day 2009 meet. On-track handle averaged $991,377 daily, compared with $991,603 one year ago.

Daily average attendance was 5,096, down 8.8% from 5,588 in 2009. Total attendance for the 57-day meet was 290,494 compared to 357,659 for the 64-day 2009 meet.

Total all-sources handle for NYRA races was $547,883,624 this year, compared with $629,863,275 in 2009. The average daily all-source handle of $9,611,993 represented a decline of 2.3% from the 2009 average of $9,841,614.

NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward said the numbers show that Belmont outperformed many other tracks so far this year as wagering on Thoroughbred racing has fallen 8% nationwide through the first six months of 2010.

"The Belmont numbers are a big win for NYRA given the reduced horse population and increased competition from the Monmouth Park experiment," said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward. "Meanwhile, the stalls at Saratoga are packed with two-year-olds, turf horses, and stakes horses, an encouraging sign of a powerful meet to come here at the Spa."

Late in the Belmont Park meet, the New York track faced competition from Monmouth Park in New Jersey, which is conducting a 50-day meet with average daily purses of $1 million.