Baseball Impacted Belmont Numbers; Purses at Record Level

Belmont Park offered record purses during its 33-day meet and took in a slightly higher total commingled handle than last year, but on track, it couldn't compete with Major League Baseball's Yankees and Mets.

Average daily on-track attendance fell 3.1% to 6,545, down from an average of 6,756 last year. Average daily on-track handle also suffered -- it dropped 5% to $1,695,837. During the 32-day fall meet in 1999, average daily on-track handle was $1,784,712. The average daily total handle was $10,474,022, up 0.7% from last year's daily average of $10,403,697.

"The reality is that we faced very tough competition for the entertainment dollar and the attention of the New York sports crowd this fall," said Terry Meyocks, president of the New York Racing Association.
Horsemen enjoyed record purses. The average daily purse distribution of $598,785 was an all-time record in New York.