Saratoga Opening Day Way Up

Huge increases in handle and attendance.

(Edited NYRA release)

On-track and all-sources handle were up significantly over 2008 totals as Saratoga Race Course opened its 141st season July 29.

Attendance of 25,444 was up 40.4% over 2008 when 18,127 braved a steady downpour. It was hot and muggy this year, with intermittent rain late on the card.

On-track handle totaled $3,651,222, a 29.8% increase over $2,813,982 in 2008.  All-sources handle was $14,216,133, a 24.4% increase from $11,431,846 in 2008.

"Opening day was an unqualified success," said New York Racing Association president and CEO Charles Hayward. "On-track handle increase of almost 30% and all-sources increase of 24.4% over 2008 figures indicates the strength of our racing product and the benefit of some decent weather. The crowd of 25,444 confirms the resiliency of Saratoga opening day in challenging times."