The New York Racing Association reported on Monday, Aug. 3, that attendance in the opening days of the Saratoga Race Course's 2009 meet far exceeded that of last year.
In the first six days of the meet attendance was up 13.5 percent, and the on-track handle rose 5 percent. All sources handle, which includes bets made on races at Saratoga from betting outlets nationwide, was up 1.1 percent.
The on-track handle totaled $19,352,139, while the all-sources handle totaled $87,526,636.
2008 was a lackluster season for the race course, which officials blamed on poor weather and a clumping economy.
The 2009 Saratoga meet is off to a very promising start both at the windows and on the track, said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward in a statement. "Despite erratic weather which affects people's plans, and moving the Whitney Stakes to the second Saturday of the meet, attendance jumped substantially, while on-track and all-sources handle both increased, significantly ahead of all industry trends," he continued.
Hayward went on to predict continued success with a number of high profile races slated for the coming weeks.