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Track attendance continues to trounce 2008 figures

Attendance at the Saratoga Race Course continued to eclipse last year's lackluster numbers in the third week of the meet.

The New York State Racing Association announced on Monday, Aug. 17, that total attendance for the first 18 days of the meet was up 8.4 percent to 439,713 when compared with the same period in 2008.

In addition, on track handle was up 12.3 percent at $57.8 million and all sources handle, which includes money bet on Saratoga races from simulcast locations nationwide, was up 4.8 percent at over $254 million.

Officials said that the handle figures were a comfortable place to be mid-meet, and are just 2.8 off mid-meet figures for 2007, when a record handle of $123 million was recorded at the race course.

The first three weeks have been classic Saratoga: good weather and large competitive fields, and our customers on- and off-track have responded enthusiastically, said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward in a statement. "With three weeks in the books, we still have many of our marquee races in front of us, including the Grade I Alabama on Aug. 22, the Grade I Shadwell Travers on Aug. 29,and, in the final weekend, the Grade I Woodward and the Rage I Three Chimneys Hopeful."

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