The Spa Spot: Total handle up as third week wraps
While on-track business has been a bit weaker than 2011, total wagering on races at Saratoga Race Course is up 7.6 percent through the first 16 days of this year's meet.
The New York Racing Association has run six more races this season.
According to NYRA stats, attendance for the first three weeks of the meet ending Monday was 319,806, a 1.9 percent decrease from 325,909 in 2011.
On-track handle totaled $48,208,874, up .7 percent from $47,896,094 last year. Wagering downstate at Belmont Café and the Aqueduct simulcast center was $8,849,611 for a combined NYRA facilities handle of $57,058,485, up 2.2 percent from $55,835,011 in 2011.
The total handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $233,380,247, up 7.6 percent from $216,977,479 last year.
The average betting interests per race for the 16 days were 8.5 (1,411 total) compared to 8.6 (1,372 total) in 2011. There have been 73 turf races and 13 races taken off the turf and moved to the main track, compared to 65 on and 12 off in 2011.
Attendance on track Monday was up eight percent to 15,667, the on-track handle was up 16 percent to $2,471,581 and the all-sources handle was ahead 26 percent to $10,939,600.
- Saratoga Springs native Terri Pompay picked up her second training win of the season at Saratoga with a victory by Over the Counter ($12) in the fifth. The 2-year-old Majestic Warrior filly owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, won the high-priced maiden claimer - the claiming price was $150,000 - by a nose.
- Trainer Jason Servis won the second race Monday with Hangover Kid ($8.40) to continue what has been a great season at Saratoga. Servis has won with half of his starters, 4-of-8, and with two seconds his horses have hit the board at a 75 percent clip.
- Marylou Whitney's Afleet Bird, a 2-year-old filly trained by Nick Zito, suffered a life-threatening leg injury in the first race Monday. She sustained a fracture of the right front leg and was taken off the course in the horse ambulance for treatment.
- Six of the 13 races that NYRA has taken off the turf this season have been in the last two days. Four were moved Sunday after storms dumped heavy rain on the courses. NYRA took the third and the 10th off the "yielding" courses on Monday.
- Leading rider Ramon Dominguez won three times Monday and tops the standings with 26 winners. Joel Rosario had three winners and John Velazquez two.