If you have been reading the pained Internet banter that has fallen out from the last significant Saturday of the New York racing season, that being the one at our backs, you may have noticed the repeated alarmed reference to the crowd of about 4,700 people who braved a particularly cold and uncomfortable day in order to be present for the Cigar Mile, Demoiselle and Remsen Stakes.

To those intrepid and dedicated souls, we tip out hat. They, however, seem not to be the people complaining.

For the record, yes, I was at Aqueduct on Saturday. The opportunity to see top-class horses and promising two-year-olds will take a back seat to few other things in my view – my own hospitalization, for instance. I spent the afternoon in the company of people with similar points of view. It was cold, but the racing was terrific and I would prefer to be at a racetrack on a big day than anywhere else I can reach by car or public transportation. But that’s me.

How many of those expressing alarm at Saturday’s attendance figure can be counted as part of the total? The absence of the qualifier common to the alarmists rants – I was there – is rather amusing. If you were elsewhere -- at home, OTB, a mall, Wall Mart, Christmas shopping in Manhattan – anywhere except Aqueduct -- shut up! By your absence, you have ceded the right of complaint or at least the credentials to do so with even a shred of authority. Your two cents worth is overpriced.

While in the current era handle, not attendance, is the only realistic measure of the success or failure of any afternoon of racing at Aqueduct or anywhere else, those singularly obsessed with on-track attendance figures are seldom if ever at the races. A more realistic measure of participation would include anyone in New York who placed a wager on Saturday through any platform.

A total of $7,898,144 was wagered on the races at Aqueduct on Saturday – 86.5 percent of that total bet off-site. It is reasonable to assume that 86.5 percent of the participants were then elsewhere. If you were among them, thanks for playing. But don’t complain about the attendance. If you regard this as a problem, you are part of it.