Saratoga’s Attendance, Handle Up on Travers Day
Records were broken in both on-track and total handle at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday afternoon, with the 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers as the centerpiece of a stellar 14-race card that included three other graded stakes.
On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, 47,597 fans – the biggest Travers crowd since 48,894 saw Marylou Whitney’s Birdstone win in 2004 – turned out to watch Will Take Charge nose out Moreno at the wire to capture the “Mid-Summer Derby” in a thrilling finish.
They wagered a record $9,672,249 on the card, an 11 percent increase over last year’s record $8,741,773.
All-sources handle on Saratoga’s Travers-day races was up 13 percent, year over year, to $41,363,760. Last year’s tally of $36,597,173 was eclipsed after yesterday’s 12th race.
Downstate wagering also posted significant increases, with $612,864 wagered at the Belmont Café, up 13 percent, year over year, and $695,266 wagered at Aqueduct Racetrack, an increase of 7 percent.
The pool for the Guaranteed $1 Million Pick 4 topped $2 million for the first time, with $2,016,700 wagered.