ELMONT, N.Y. - With a Triple Crown bid on the line and 10 outstanding stakes races on the card, this year's Belmont Stakes Day proved to be a smashing hit, with the on-track handle of $19,105,877 and all-sources handle of $150,249,399 easily setting all-time NYRA records.
The attendance was 102,199, the third highest in Belmont Stakes history. The Belmont Stakes attendance record remains 120,139, which was set in 2004 when Birdstone denied Smarty Jones a sweep of the Triple Crown. The attendance in 2002, when War Emblem came up short in his Triple Crown bid, was 103,222.
The previous on-track ($14,742,520) and all-sources handle ($124,009,593) records were set on October 29, 2005 when Belmont Park hosted the Breeders' Cup.
The previous Belmont Stakes Day handle records were set in 2004, with $14,461,402 wagered on track and $110,994,390 wagered from all-sources.
"We're so proud of this record-breaking day of racing at Belmont Park and give our special thanks to the more than 102,000 fans who joined us this afternoon." said Chris Kay, President and CEO of The New York Racing Association, Inc. "Congratulations to our 146th Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and his connections for an outstanding performance in the 'Test of the Champion.' Thanks also to the great run from California Chrome, whose terrific story captivated the nation for the past five weeks.
We are also extremely pleased with the terrific lineup of 10 stakes races propelling our handle to an all-time Belmont Stakes Day and Belmont Park record of more than $150 million in total wagering and more than $19 million bet on track. To top it off, we had sparkling entertainment lineup led by LL COOL J, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Dee Riscoli from the Tony Award winning cast of Wicked."