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Jul 22, 2011

Good news from Belmont Park heading into Saratoga meet


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - The numbers coming out of Belmont Park's spring/ summer meeting are encouraging as the focus shifts to Saratoga Springs. Attendance, on-track handle and total handle all posted increases from 2010's numbers.

"We are very encouraged by the results from the recently concluded Belmont Park meet," said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward. "The large increases in attendance and on-track handle continue the strong trends that we have set since the closure of New York City Off-Track Betting, and it is an especially positive sign that our total all-sources handle increased during the Belmont meet. These indicators provide us with plenty of optimism as we get ready to open the 143rd renewal of the prestigious Saratoga Race Course meet on Friday."

Compared to last year, attendance was up more than 14 percent, going from 290,494 to 332,413. Including money bet on simulcast races, total on-track handle increased 72 percent with $141 million wagered versus $82 million in 2010.

All-sources handle, including money bet on simulcast races, posted an increase of 1.2 percent or $5 million from last year's $572 million. Because of the closing of New York City Off-Track Betting, NYRA Rewards telephone wagering was up significantly to $13 million from $5.4 million, a bump of 146 percent. The NYRA Rewards internet wagering was up 231 percent, going from $6.5 million to $22 million.

Belmont Stakes Day attendance increased 23 percent, on-track handle was up 41 percent, and total all-sources handle on the day's races was up nine percent.

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