In the aftermath of hosting the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 and three weeks into a Saratoga Race Course meet that is showing significant gains in reported attendance and pari-mutuel handle, the board of directors of the New York Racing Association met Aug. 12 and for the most part celebrated the accomplishments.
But the operating loss for racing has increased from last year, according to a financial report.
Through Aug. 10 NYRA is seeing significant gains in all areas at Saratoga. All-sources handle has increased 19.8%, and food and beverage and merchandise sales have increased 25.6% and 27.5%, respectively.
Board member Leonard Riggio said acknowledging the meet’s early success should be tempered with caution about what might happen as the meet goes on given this year’s late Labor Day. “The misalignment (of the calendar) is causing to look a lot better,” he said. “Hopefully we’re going to keep a lot of the increase.”
Riggio also said he believes wagering at NYRA tracks was falling faster than it was at other tracks. “Not everything is hunky-dory,” he said.
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