Belmont Stakes Day On-Track Wagering Mark Set

(from NYRA release)
A single-day on-track Belmont Stakes day wagering record was established Saturday at Belmont Park before the second largest crowd in the track's history, 101,864, and steady rainfall for the 135th running of the Test of the Champion.

A Belmont Stakes (gr. I) record $12,973,555 was wagered by a loyal crowd that withstood daylong rain awaiting New York-bred Funny Cide's bid for the VISA Triple Crown. Funny Cide finished third as the popular favorite before his hometown crowd.

The all-time record on-track handle at Belmont Park is $13,165,397, set during the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The attendance record at Belmont Park was set last year on Belmont Stakes day when 103,222 turned out on a picture-perfect day.

The 135th Belmont was won by arch rival Empire Maker, who had previously defeated Funny Cide in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct only to have that decision reversed in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Empire Maker paid $6.00 for every $2 win wager.

Total commingled handle was $89,223,530, slightly off last year's Belmont Stakes day record of $90,703,830. The total handle from all sources was $92,584,249, falling short of the Belmont Stakes day record of $95,443,037 established last year.

Overall handle on the Belmont Stakes established a new wagering record, $48,081,346, for a six-horse field in North America.