As horsemen, track officials and racing fans coast-to-coast prepare for the opening of Del Mar, Wednesday, and Saratoga, Friday, Belmont Park has released is handle number for its recently concluded 54-day spring-summer meet.
All-sources handle for the 54-day Belmont spring-summer meet that ended Sunday was $581,496,467. That’s a 5.3 percent retreat from last year’s figure of $613,870,654, according to data from the New York Racing Association (NYRA). Handle ontrack at the Long Island oval was $77,960,658, down 5.6 percent from last year’s 54-day meet figure of $82,620,628.
The Daily Racing Form in its analysis of the 2017 meet notes several rainy weekends that included at least four Saturday cards that were impacted by rain. On June 18, the final six races of the card were canceled when the jockeys refused to ride on an extremely wet and heavy main track.
Average field size at this year’s meet was 7.80 horses per race compared to 7.92 in 2016.
This year’s Belmont Stakes day card handled $93.6 million, down 5.8 percent from last year’s card that handled $99.4 million. In 2017, the Belmont Stakes, the meet’s signature race, did not feature the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner.