Thursday, 10 September 2020 13:13

NYRA Completes Saratoga Meet; All-Sources Handle Tops $702 Million

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) successfully concluded its 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course without interruption and with all-sources handle topping $700 million for the second consecutive year. 

Highlighted by Tiz the Law's dominant performance in winning the 151st running of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers, the meet was conducted without spectators and with only a limited number of essential personnel, horsemen and owners on-site due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All-sources handle for the 2020 summer meet totaled $702,535,468 compared to $705,343,949 wagered from all sources on Saratoga in 2019.

Average daily handle for the 40-day meet was $17,563,387. The 2019 meet, which was run across 39 days due to the cancellation of a full card due to weather, generated average daily handle of $18,085,742.

Pari-mutuel wagering funds the majority of the NYRA purse account, which is awarded to horsemen and, in turn, benefits hundreds of small businesses operating at NYRA tracks and others dependent on the thoroughbred racing industry.

While the 2020 Saratoga meet was a success in many ways, it will most be remembered for the absence of our passionate fans and the irreplaceable energy that they bring to Saratoga each summer. Despite not being able to attend in person, horseplayers watched and wagered with tremendous enthusiasm, and we thank them for their continued support," said NYRA President & CEO Dave O'Rourke. "We would also like to thank city and county leaders for their efforts in working with us to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants, and the Saratoga community for welcoming us without reservation.” 

A total of 409 races were run this summer including 226 on dirt and 183 on the turf. 32 races were taken off the turf due to weather. Average field size over the 409 races was 7.4. This compares to 403 total races run in 2019, including 225 on dirt and 178 on turf. 38 were taken off the turf due to weather. Average field size in 2019 was 7.9.

New York state currently requires all racetracks to operate without spectators in attendance to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

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