Breeders' Cup Boosts Belmont Meet Numbers

The fall meet at Belmont Park, highlighted by the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 29, resulted in across-the-board increases in all major business categories.

Excluding Breeders' Cup handle, however, average daily attendance and some average daily wagering categories declined from the same meet one year ago, which was four days shorter than the 2005 stand.

The New York Racing Association reported attendance during the 37-day meet totaled 222,133, including the 54,289 on Breeders' Cup Day, for an average of 6,004, compared with a daily average 5,189 last year. Excluding the Breeders' Cup, the average attendance for 36 days was 4,662.

All-source handle, including the Breeders' Cup, totaled $477,797,415, compared with $327,536,800 in 2004. The daily average of $12,913,444 represented a 30.1% increase over the $9,925,358 daily average one year ago. Excluding the Breeders' Cup, the total handle was $357,006,170, a gain of 9%, but the average was down one-tenth of 1% to $9,916,838.

On-track handle, including the more than $13.4 million wagered on the Breeders' Cup races by those at Belmont Park, totaled $60,140,047 (up 28.5% from the $46,811,595 in 2004) and daily average handle rose 14.6% to $1,625,407. Total on-track handle excluding the Breeders' Cup of $45,360,128 represented a 3.1% decline, with a daily average drop of 11.2%.