"The increase in our 2005 Belmont handle is significant because it was achieved without the media build-up that accompanied the 2003 and 2004 races when Funny Cide and Smarty Jones had chances to win the Crown," Youbet.com chief executive officer Charles Champion said in a release. "Some of the improvement in our performance results from our own marketing prowess, but perhaps as important, some of our success also is attributable to a revival in fan enthusiasm generated by a combination of star-quality Thoroughbreds and greater race access via the Internet."The 2005 Triple Crown days rank among the top handle-producing days in company history. The company posted its highest daily handle ever at $4.2 million on Derby day. Preakness day ranks third on the all-time list at $3.5 million, while the Belmont total is the fourth highest, the company reported.Champion said 94% of the wagers handled June 11 by Youbet.com were placed by customers who live more than 25 miles from Belmont Park. He also said Youbet.com customers made more than $1.1 million in advance deposits on the day of the Belmont, and that at peak wagering times, the Youbet.com Web site served the concurrent needs of nearly 8,000 customers, also a record.
Edited press releaseYoubet.com, the California-based online wagering service, handled $3.4 million June 11, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day, to bring its three-day Triple Crown total to $9.5 million. In 2003, the last time Youbet.com offered wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and Belmont, total handle was $6.5 million, the company said.This year's Belmont day handle was up 33% from 2004. Of the $3.4 million wagered, $1.8 million was on Belmont Park races, up 28% from last year when Smarty Jones attempted to win the Triple Crown. This year, no Crown was on the line.