Big Business At Saratoga On Travers Day

31.08.2016, by Jim
Big Business At Saratoga On Travers Day&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Horse racing can always use an influx of good news and they got one this week out of Saratoga. The Travers Stakes card last Saturday proved to be a hit with fans as ‘a star was born’ when unheralded Arrogate dominated in the race. It was also a hit with the bookkeepers as the track did very strong business on a loaded Saturday card.

In fact, the all sources handle for the Saratoga Travers Day card was the second largest in history at $45,596,366. The only downside to that number is that it represents a precipitous drop from last year which was the largest Travers Day handle in history. This year’s all sources handle was down 8.1% from the 2015 Travers card when $49,668,754 was wagered. The interest in that card was heightened by the presence of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the main event race. American Pharoah would ultimately finish second in an upset with Keen Ice winning.

The on-track handle was also strong. Ontrack handle for Travers Saturday was $10,778,992, representing the fourth highest figure in history. That handle was down 6 percent from $11,472,451 in the 2015 for the American Pharoah/Keen Ice Travers. The 2016 were also exceeded in 2013 ($10,980,379) and 2014 ($10,850,894). Attendence for the Saturday Saratoga card was capped at 50,000 but it fell just short of that. Announced paid admissions on Saturday was 48,630, down 2.7 percent from last year. New York Racing Association officials had capped the 2015 Travers card at 50,000 as well and entries were cut off at that number.

Saratoga started the tradition last year of ‘packing the card’ with six Grade 1 races and seven graded races overall. There were 13 races on the card in both years but more horses were involved this year–124 betting interests on Saturday, up from 117 last year.

The race itself also made history as Bob Baffert’s Arrogate ran 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.36 breaking the track record of 2:00 set by General Assembly in 1979. Arrogate’s 13 1/2 length margin of victory was the third biggest in Travers history behind Damascus (22 lengths in 1967) and General Assembly (15 lengths in 1979). Arrogate’s jockey Mike Smith won his third Travers Stakes joining Bill Shoemaker, Jerry Bailey, Eric Guerin and Chris McCarron in completing the ‘hat trick’.

Related Content

15.09.2016 , by Jim

Tepin Looks Like Horse To Beat In Woodbine Mile

One can make a compelling case that Tepin is the best turf horse in the world at the moment. Not surprisingly, she’s considered ...

Read more

12.09.2016 , by Jim

Meadowlands To Reduce Takeout Across The Board For Fall Meet

When the subject of increasing the popularity of horse racing comes up the discussion inevitably turns to the importance of reducing ...

Read more

11.09.2016 , by Jim

Jockey Beaucamp Remains In Critical Condition

Jockey Laurent Beaucamp has been at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune City since he suffered an injury in a riding accident ...

Read more