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Le Mi Geaux splashes down the track in the Schuylerville on opening day at Saratoga.
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Coglianese Photos

Rain Keeps Saratoga First-Day Handle Down

Opening day ontrack handle was down 14.3% from the opening day of 2009.

Steady rain starting mid-morning July 23 at Saratoga Race Course and contributed to declines in handle and attendance on opening day compared with the 2009 opener.
Ontrack handle totaled $3,130,756, a 14.3% decrease over $3,651,222 on opening day in 2009, which was a Wednesday. The handle, however, was 289% higher than the ontrack handle of $804,869 for the comparable Friday 2009 at Belmont Park.

All-sources handle of $13,349,050, which combines wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was down only 6.1% from $14,216,134 in 2009 and up 90% from $7,033,787 on the comparable Belmont Park Friday.

The attendance of 23,178 dropped 8.9% from 25,444 at 2009’s opener but soared 307% over the 5,695 at Belmont Park Friday.

“Despite the deluge on-track, our all-sources handle confirms the popularity of Saratoga racing with our customers nationwide,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward.  “Our business today far surpassed last year’s at Belmont Park and we’re confident of an excellent Saratoga meet as soon as the weather cooperates.”