Total all-sources handle for the 58-day meet, which includes money bet on Belmont Park races from simulcast outlets, was $662,605,734, a 2.2% decrease from $677,495,619 in 2007. Daily all-sources average was $11,424,237 compared to $11,482,977 in 2007.
On-track handle increased 1.5%, despite the loss of one racing day. On-track handle for races conducted at Belmont Park totaled $69,722,257 for a daily average of $1,202,108, up from $68,718,518 for a daily average of $1,164,721 in 2007.
“Despite a downturn in the economy and softness in the thoroughbred racing industry, we’re pleased with the modest increase of the Belmont Park Spring/Summer meeting,” NYRA president and chief executive Charles Hayward said in a statement. “Clearly a big driver of the numbers was Big Brown’s Belmont Stakes Triple Crown attempt, but this was somewhat offset by the loss of a racing day.”
Wagering for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) 13-race card, which included five other graded stakes, was the second highest on-track in history. On-track wagering on the card soared 49.9% to $13,256,019 from $8,843,720 in 2007, while total all-sources handle jumped 32.6% to $100,378,472 from $75,686,429 in 2007.
Total attendance for the Belmont Park meet was up 2.9%, to 391,634 (daily average of 6,752) from 380,531 (daily average of 6,450) in 2007. Attendance figures were assisted by a crowd of 94,476 for Belmont Stakes Day, compared to 46,870 in 2007.