The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced last week that its 2019 race meets conducted at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course generated an all-sources handle of $2,108,126,369.
For the first time in history, NYRA generated more than $700 million in all-sources handle during the 2019 meet at Saratoga Race Course, which was conducted over a five-day race week.
Wagering from all-sources at Saratoga totaled $705,343,949, a figure that eclipsed the previous record set in 2017 by nearly $29 million or 4.2 percent. The milestone record was achieved despite the cancellation of a full racing card on the second Saturday of the season due to extreme heat, in addition to the cancellation of the final seven races on July 25 due to severe storms.
Inclement weather forced the full cancellation of seven race days and partial cancellation of six cards (throughout the three tracks) during the year. As a result, there were 217 race days in 2019 at NYRA tracks with average daily handle of $9,714,868.
Total all sources handle in 2018 was $2,113,408,494 with average daily handle over the 219 days of live racing in 2018 of $9,650,267.
2019 featured 2,000 races at NYRA tracks, or 38 fewer than were contested in 2018. 125 races were taken off the turf in 2019 compared with 193 in 2018.
The June 8th Belmont Stakes Day card, highlighted by SIR WINSTON Winning the 151st running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes generated an all-sources handle of $102,163,280, a NYRA record for a non-Triple Crown year.
All-sources handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival was $131,858,886.
In total, the 48-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet generated all sources handle of $524,051,257 with on-track handle of $62,499,109. Average daily handle during the spring/summer meet was $10,917,735.
The 2019 Belmont Park fall meet generated all-sources handle of $274,929,718. Average daily handle over the 37 days of live racing was $7,430,533 with on-track handle totaling $32,523,572.
The 25-day 2019 fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack generated all-sources handle of $205,249,710, and on-track handle of $20,712,645. Average daily handle during the fall meet at the Big A was $8,209,988.
Total on-track handle across all NYRA meets in 2019 was $310,053,754, a 5.2 percent decrease from the 2018 total of $326,893,963.
The Daily Racing Blog believes NYRA does an admirable job in operating the three tracks, as well as providing quality racing. And as the annual handle shows, a lot of other folks think so too.