by NYRA Press Office
The New York Racing Association Inc., (NYRA) today announced that the Belmont Park spring/summer meet generated $15,466,198 in average daily handle from all sources, a 42 percent increase over the 2019 spring/summer meet.
Abbreviated to 25-days and held without spectators in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening of the spring/summer meet on Wednesday, June 3 marked the return of professional sports in New York and was conducted with strict health and safety protocols in place.
"We would like to thank the horseplayers for their enthusiastic support of New York racing during this most unusual spring/summer meet," said NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke. "That we were able to resume racing on June 3, and usher in the return of professional sports in New York, reflects the dedication and professionalism of the racing community during these uncertain and challenging times."
Despite running 23 fewer days than in 2019, a 48 percent decrease, all sources handle during the spring/summer meet totaled $386,654,955.
Average field size over the 248 races carded was 8.61, a 23 percent increase over 2019. Five races were taken off the turf due to weather, and all five came on July 10 with the impact of Tropical Storm Fay.
The June 20 Belmont Stakes Day card, which featured 12 races and six graded stakes, highlighted by Tiz the Law's victory in the 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, generated all sources handle of $67,753,336.
The 2019 spring/summer meet, which was contested across 48 live race days, generated all sources handle of $524,051,324 and average daily handle of $10,917,736. 448 races were run in total with 46 races taken off the turf due to weather. Average field size was 6.98.
Chad Brown notched 23 wins to finish as the leading trainer at the 2020 Belmont spring/summer meet for the fifth consecutive time and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. posted 34 victories to lead all riders as the 25-day meet concluded on Sunday at Belmont Park.
Klaravich Stables led all owners with 13 wins, outpacing second-place finisher Michael Dubb, who had seven victories.
The 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will begin on Thursday, July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Following the four-day opening weekend, live racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.
Under current New York State guidelines, Saratoga Race Course will open without spectators in attendance. The 40-day meet will be highlighted by the 151st renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday, August 8 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on Saturday, August 1.
Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the 40-day summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, NYRA Bets is currently offering a $200 new member bonus in addition to a host of special weekly offers. The NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at NYRABets.com
For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.